Dr. Frank Wilczek was named the winner of the 2022 Templeton Prize for his work as a Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist and author in studying and explaining how the fundamental laws of nature have transformed our understanding of the universe.
The $1.3 million Templeton Prize was established by legendary investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton as a way to honor those who are actively explore via science the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it. Last year’s winner was legendary conservationist Jane Goodall.
“Throughout Dr. Wilczek’s philosophical reflections, there is a spiritual quality to his ideas,” said Heather Templeton Dill, president of the John Templeton Foundation. “By uncovering a remarkable order in the natural world, Dr. Wilczek has come to appreciate different ways of thinking about reality, and through his written work, he has invited all of us to join him in the quest for understanding. When we come face to face with the beauty that Dr. Wilczek describes, we can’t help but wonder about humankind’s place and purpose in the universe.”
She described Wilczek as a natural philosopher in the mold of Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein. The foundation points to his physics work that includes the establishment of the theoretical description of one of the four fundamental forces in nature and proposing a leading explanation for dark matter. Also, his work as a public intellectual have offered the public a view of the universe that he sees as embodying mathematical beauty at the scales of the magnificently large and unimaginably small: a universe inherently beautiful in all its parts.
“The central miracle of physics to me is the fact that by playing with equations, drawing diagrams, doing calculations, and working within the world of mental concepts and manipulations, you are actually describing the real world. If you were looking for trying to understand what God is by understanding God’s work, that’s it,” said Dr. Wilczek, who is currently a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in a statement.
As the 2022 Templeton Prize laureate, Dr. Wilczek will participate in several virtual and in-person events, including a 2022 Templeton Prize event in the fall, where he will deliver a Templeton Prize lecture.