Science Leadership in Bhutan

In July, 2019, we launched a new initiative to train monastic teacher-leaders to bring enriching engagement between science and Buddhism to their community. The first two-week institute focused on conceptual foundations of chemistry and neuroscience and began developing project ideas that they will implement starting next year. The 35 participants in the workshop were laity-school and monastic teachers, however, none of them had previously studied science. They represented 18 of the 20 districts of Bhutan, and combined reach approximately 30,000 students each year. Most taught high-school aged students subjects, that included: language (Dzongkar), Buddhist philosophy, human values, and life skills.

In 2015, monastics with the Ati Foundation in Bhutan contacted us, hoping that we might expand to Bhutan. Buddhism in Bhutan is characterized by mostly Kagyu and Nyingma lineages, like those found in Tibet, and that have developed into distinct lineages of Bhutanese Buddhism. 

Our activities in Bhutan seek to involve monastics in all regions of the country, and steadily positions a team of Bhutanese monastics that can champion future activities that deepen an indigenous commitment to exchanges and dialogue with science

2019 Leadership Institute

July 16th to 29th, 2019
Paro, Phutan

Western Faculty

David Presti,  University of California, Berkeley
Sophia Oller, High Tech Highschool
Kristi Panik, University of California, Berkeley
Bryce Johnson, Science for Monks and Nuns

Introductory Science Workshops (2016 to 2018)

Physics – Knowledge of Nature

March 19th to 27th, 2018
Hosted by Rangjung Monastery, Trashigang

Western Faculty

Stamatis Vokos, California Polytechnic State University
Bryce Johnson, Science for Monks

Astronomy to Cosmology

April 27th to May 5th, 2017
Hosted by Karchu Monastery, Bumthang

Western Faculty

Christopher Impey, University of Arizona, Tucson
Bryce Johnson, Science for Monks


July 25th, 2016, to August 4th, 2016
Hosted by the College of Natural Resources, Punakha

Western Faculty

David Presti, University of California, Berkeley
Bryce Johnson, Science for Monks