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British astrophysicist wins prize

A British theoretical astrophysicist who achieved renown for his study of the cosmos and for sounding warnings about the future of humanity won the 2011 Templeton Prize.

Martin J. Rees of the University of Cambridge (England) will receive $1.6 million from the John Templeton Foundation.

The prize honors an individual who has made "exceptional contributions to affirming life's spiritual dimension."

Rees, 68, was a somewhat unorthodox choice because he holds no formal religious beliefs.

The Templeton Prize is the world's largest annual award to an individual and is intended to exceed the monetary value of the annual Nobel Prizes.


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