A new $2 million fellowship grant program sponsored by the University of Connecticut’s Humanities Institute and funded by the John Templeton Foundation will support 10 innovative projects that explore the broken landscape of American discourse and create enduring strategies to spur and sustain open-minded, reasonable, and well-informed debate and dialogue.
The 10 interdisciplinary research projects focus on balancing two key features of democracy: intellectual humility and conviction of belief. Carefully curated out of an applicant pool of 110, not only for their individual merits, but also because they work in complementary fashion, each project will investigate how networks and institutions meant to connect us may be pushing people apart.
“Arrogance is easy in politics; humility is hard. These projects aim to rekindle the sense that we can learn from each other, and thus to help us restore a more meaningful public discourse,” says Michael P. Lynch, director of the UConn Humanities Institute and principal investigator of the Humility and Conviction in Public Life project.
The research awards, ranging from $160,000 to $225,000, provide a substantial two-year fellowship to each grantee for an ambitious project that will put cutting-edge research to work on improving and revitalizing public discourse. In aggregate, the projects will not only examine how intellectual humility does or does not manifest in public discourse, but will also promote and assess humility at the individual and institutional levels.
The Humanities Institute hosts the project on Humility and Conviction in Public Life, with goals that include investigating the nature of productive dialogue over morality, science, and religion as well as looking at what may thwart the meaningful exchange of ideas and how we might overcome these barriers by investigating the role of intellectual humility in public discourse.
Read the full story at UConn Today.