September 2022 - ETSI Initiates Two Essential Trainings

Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI) is always looking for ways to develop monastic human resources in the field of science education; to strengthen the intellectual and logistical foundation in this field established during the launch (2014-2016) and expansion (2017-2019) phases; to create a new breed of scholars who have proficiency in scientific research and pedagogy and who embody the convergence of Tibetan Buddhism and spirituality with western science while having an informed awareness about the points of divergence. To that end, ETSI has developed and initiated various programs, two of which will be highlighted in this short report due to new developments. 


The 7th Cohort of the Tenzin Gyatso Science Scholars Program started pre-training at Drepung Loseling Meditation and Science Center

On 7 September 2022, the newly selected 7th cohort TGSS began their 10-month intensive training in mathematics, science, English, and basic computer skills at the Drepung Loseling Meditation and Science Center, South India. This training aims to build a robust academic foundation in the selected scholars for their two-year residency program at Emory University. The 7th cohort, just like their predecessors, will primarily take language and foundational science courses at Emory. 

This critical project, supported by the Gaden Phodrang Foundation and Emory University, aims to produce indigenous monastic science instructors. Thus far, thirty monastic scholars comprising monks and nuns representing the four primary Tibetan Buddhist schools and Bon have completed the program and returned to serve their monastic institutions.


The 1st Cohort of the Science Research Internship Program started at Northwestern University

On 16 September 2022, in collaboration with Northwestern University, the ETSI began a two-month research internship program at Northwestern University. The first cohort of research scholars will spend two months at the university receiving in-depth training in the theory and methodology of neuroscience research. The training is co-directed by Dr. Robin Nusslock (co-leader of the ETSI Research Unit), Dr. Ken Paller, and Dr. Marcia Grabowecky. All of them are professors of psychology and neuroscience at Northwestern University.          

This collaborative venture aims to provide intensive research training—an excellent opportunity for monastic scholars to practice science using state-of-the-art laboratory equipment. By the end of 2024, one monk from each of the ten monasteries participating in the ETSI Sustainability Program will have received this special research training. The participants are expected to lead and guide their respective monastics in future research projects.