In a country plagued by ignorance and superstition
I like what Jack Szostak, Nobel laureate, wrote to the NAS about its hosting of the Templeton prize party.
It is inappropriate and counter-productive for the NAS, a scientific organization, to interact in this way with an overtly religious group such as the Templeton Foundation.
We are not a faith-based organization – we ask questions and seek the answers in evidence. In a country plagued by ignorance and superstition, the NAS ought to be a beacon of coherent rational thinking and skeptical inquiry. If science is, as George Ellery Hale stated, our guide to truth, then religion is clearly incompatible with science, as should be apparent from considerations of faith versus inquiry.
But since it’s one of their own who won, they probably won’t be much moved. That’s unfortunate.