Following a review of possible themes for a competition in 2004, the Trustees now wish to invite proposals for programme awards on:



1. Changing Beliefs.

Intellectual history is the story of changing beliefs, whether in science, religion, politics, aesthetics or morals. Even the most fundamental convictions about what is true or false, right or wrong, decent or indecent, beautiful or ugly can change over time. Old dogmas and taboos dissolve and new ones are created.

Why do some ideas change and others remain constant? What circumstances conduce to intellectual change and what to continuity? Are changes the result of new evidence? Or of changes in social or material circumstances? Or do beliefs evolve in response to their own internal logic? There are many different areas of human experience in which research might both illuminate and explain this process.

2. Water, Life and Civilisation.

It is axiomatic that life on earth depends on water, on its character, its availability and its use. The unusual chemistry of water is revealed even to the casual onlooker in its series of solid, liquid and vapour forms. This chemistry has to the closer observer far-reaching significance for other molecules such as the proteins and DNA. Water balance is a central feature of the physiology of life on earth at the cellular and organismal level. Water provides a range of ecosystems and, within them, of natural resources that present issues of exploration, conservation and exploitation. The climatic, geographical and geological causes and consequences of the water cycle and water occurrence on earth have influenced economies, communications, population distributions and settlements since ancient times. Water engineering, be it for drinking, sanitation, flood control, containment, irrigation, transport of goods or energy production has produced undertakings of dramatic scale and vision from archaeological times through to the present day. These projects have impacted on both society and the natural landscape. Potable water is still beyond the reach of many and water for health and agriculture is an increasing political and economic issue, exacerbated in these times of apparent local and global climate change. This diversity of interest is now seen as meriting imaginative research attention wherein a selection of topics from among these disciplines can be brought together within an overarching theme.

The Trustees invite bids for a research programme grant on one or other of the selected subjects. The bids should put forward a set of projects each exploring an aspect of the selected theme, and bring these together to form a self-consistent and imaginative programme of work.

Further details at