Independent Institute Names Winners of 2010 Templeton Fellowships Essay Contest: News Releases: The Independent Institute

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News Release
September 27, 2010

Independent Institute Names Winners of 2010 Templeton Fellowships Essay Contest

OAKLAND, Calif., September 27, 2010—The Independent Institute announces the winners of its 2010 Sir John M. Templeton Fellowships Essay Contest! Four college students and one untenured college professor will receive a total of $16,000 in prize money for their outstanding submissions.

Contestants were asked to consider the following quotation from 19th century French economist Frederic Bastiat:

“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.”

. . . And address the following question:

Assuming Bastiat is correct, what ideas or reforms could be developed that would make people better aware that government wants to live at their expense?

“This year’s winners thought long and hard about a problem often considered intractable—namely, the problem of government predation over the citizenry,” said Carl Close, Academic Affairs Director of the Independent Institute. “Fortunately, with their insights and eloquence, this year’s contest winners give us hope that the upcoming generation of thinkers will continue to fight the good fight for liberty and dignity.”

First Prize and a $10,000 grant in the junior faculty division for untenured college teachers (under 36 years of age) went to Evgeniy Gentchev for his essay, “Making the Case: Effectively Advocating an Old Idea in Modern Times.” An associate professor of strategy and international business at Northwood University in Cedar Hill, Texas, Mr. Gentchev is also a contributing author of In Defense of Capitalism and co-editor of When We Are Free. He immigrated to the United States from Bulgaria in the early 1990s after witnessing the failure of communism.

In the college student division, First Prize and a $2,500 grant was awarded to Chen Sheng (Wesleyan College) for her essay, “Grassroots Associations, Popular Literature, Future Interests, and Limited Government”; Ms. Chen is a senior majoring in economics and international relations.

Second Prize in the student division, with a $1,500 grant, was awarded to Mats Ekman (Stockholm University) for his essay, “Some Economics of Advocacy and Government Competition”; Third Prize and a $1,000 grant was awarded to two people: Alicia Constant (Patrick Henry College) for “A Matter of Incentives: Public Choice and the Great Fiction”; and George Hawley (University of Houston) for “Leviathan’s Greatest Deception: Exposing the False Promise of Life ‘at the Expense of the State.’”

In addition to the prize money, winners in both divisions will receive assistance in getting their essays published and a two-year subscription to The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy. The Independent Institute will attempt to arrange for some or all of the winners to deliver their prize-winning papers at an academic conference.

The Independent Institute will also award a one-year subscription to a select number of Honorable Mentions, whose names appear on the contest website, along with those of the winners and links to the winning essays.

The 2010 contest drew applicants from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Macedonia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, The Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Administered by the Independent Institute and funded by the John Templeton Foundation, the contest encourages college students and untenured college professors around the world to study the meaning and significance of economic and personal liberty. A panel of judges reviewed each submission. This year’s judges were professors Jonathan Bean (Southern Illinois University), Benjamin Powell (Suffolk University), and Aeon Skoble (Bridgewater State University).

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