Foundational Questions Institute

The Foundational Questions Institute, styled FQXi, is an organization that provides grants to "catalyze, support, and disseminate research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology."[1] It was founded in 2005 by cosmologists Max Tegmark and Anthony Aguirre,[2] who hold the positions of Scientific Directors. It has run four worldwide grant competitions (in 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2013), the first of which provided US$2M to 30 projects.[3] It also runs yearly essay contests open to the general public with $40,000 in prizes awarded by a jury panel and the best texts published in book format.[4]

FQXi is an independent, philanthropically funded non-profit organization, run by scientists for scientists, with a Scientific Advisory Board including John Barrow, Nick Bostrom, Gregory Chaitin, David Chalmers, Alan Guth, Martin Rees, Eva Silverstein, Lee Smolin, Frank Wilczek, and Dieter Zeh.[5]

The $6.2 million seed funding was donated by the John Templeton Foundation, whose goal is to reconcile science and religion. Tegmark has stated that the money came with "no strings attached"; The Boston Globe stated FQXi is run by "two well-respected researchers who say they are not religious. The institute's scientific advisory board is also filled with top scientists."[6] Critics of the John Templeton Foundation such as Sean Carroll have also stated they were satisfied that the FQXi is independent.[7][8]

Notable membersEdit

According to FQXi, its membership includes the following people:[9]


  1. ^ About the Foundational Questions Institute
  2. ^ Schwarzchild, Bertram (December 2005). "News notes: Foundational Questions Institute". Physics Today. 58 (12): 31. Bibcode:2005PhT....58T..31F. doi:10.1063/1.2169440.
  3. ^ Merali, Zeeya (2007-11-15). "Is mathematical pattern the theory of everything?". New Scientist. Reed Business Information.
  4. ^ "Essay Contest page". Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  5. ^ Who is FQXi?
  6. ^ "Initiative will join physics, theology". Boston Globe. 31 July 2006. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  7. ^ Epstein, David (1 August 2006). "Separation of Church and Science". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Foundational Questioners Announced". Sean Carroll (blog). 31 July 2006. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  9. ^ "FQXi Membership". Retrieved 27 January 2020.

External linksEdit