Paul K. Wason, Ph.D., John Templeton Foundation

TITLE:  Vice President, Life Sciences and Genetics

FOCUS AREAS: Life sciences, genetics.

CONTACT:  (610) 941-2828, pwatson@templeton.org

PROFILE: Paul Watson is the John Templeton Foundation’s director of life sciences and the vice president of the life sciences and genetics programs. He previously worked for 11 years as a foundations and corporations officer at Bates College. Watson’s foundation bio shares:

Paul Wason is responsible for developing new research initiatives investigating the evolution and fundamental nature of life, human life, and mind, especially as they relate to issues of meaning and purpose. Before joining the Foundation, he spent ten years at Bates College as director of foundations and corporations and as a sponsored-research administrator.

An anthropologist with a specialty in prehistoric archaeology, Dr. Wason received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Bates College, where he earned a B.S. in biology. His research on inequality, social evolution, and archaeological theory has been published as The Archaeology of Rank (1994).

His Capabilities Report 2006 senior staff bio shared:

Paul Wason is Director of Science and Religion Programs for the John Templeton Foundation. He works with scientists, theologians, philosophers and ministers on programs that feature the constructive engagement of science and religion, enhancing our spiritual knowledge and our understanding of the cosmos, life and humanity.

Dr. Wason is an anthropologist with a specialty in prehistoric archaeology. His research on inequality, social evolution and archaeological theory has been published as The Archaeology of Rank (Cambridge, 1994) and in other works, and he is currently studying the changing relations between religion, status and leadership as evidenced by the stone circles and other monuments of Neolithic and Bronze Age Europe. He is also interested in cultural evolution, especially questions of meaning and purpose in the living world and the world of human affairs.

Before joining the Foundation, Dr. Wason spent ten years at Bates College as Director of Foundations and Corporations and as a sponsored research administrator, overseeing all aspects of Bates’s interaction with private foundations, corporate-giving programs and government-granting agencies. He also served on the college’s multi-year strategic planning effort, and on L/A Excels, a unique alliance of businesses, nonprofit organizations and the cities of Lewiston and Auburn, Maine, for the purpose of implementing a new community vision. Dr. Wason has also served as secretary/treasurer of the Southern Maine Chapter of Sigma Xi, as treasurer of The Children’s Rainforest, USA, and as faculty advisor for the Bates Christian Fellowship. He is a member of the Social Science Commission and is a Fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation.

He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Bates College where he earned a B.S. in biology. He has engaged in field studies in Peru, Scotland, the Czech Republic, Maine and New York. Dr. Wason is married and has two children with whom he enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking and gardening.