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Project History and Archives

Work on the Boundaries of Humanity project began in 2014.  The John Templeton Foundation awarded a $217,000 planning grant to Professor William Hurlbut and Professor Bill Durham which sustained the project until 2018.

In those years, we convened a broad community of scientists and scholars through workshops, distinguished speaker events, and the Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar which informed our research across diverse disciplines relevant to our understanding of human nature, human uniqueness, and human flourishing in the age of biotechnology.  

Our focus distilled around three central questions:

  1. What is it to be human? What biological, social, and cultural qualities and capacities define and distinguish the human species? An important subset of this question is the range of variation in human physical, social, and cultural expression.
  2. What physical constitution, social conditions, and cultural configurations promote the fullest flourishing of our distinct human nature?
  3. What role will our ideas, perspectives, and technological powers play as we go forward into our human future?

This section of our website serves as an archive of that phase of the project, and you are invited to review summaries of the major events held in the other pages of this section.