Belief in an immortal soul has perhaps declined among philosophers (and the general public) over the last few centuries, but the John Templeton Foundation, a Christian organisation which attempts to draw together science and religion, now aims to find out whether $5 million of research funding might enable philosophers and scientists to discover an afterlife after all. The Templeton Foundation’s Immortality Project is being managed by Professor John Martin Fischer, a philosopher at the University of California at Riverside particularly known for his writings on free will and determinism. The three-year venture will include research projects involving philosophers, scientists and theologians, plus conferences and a website. It will examine everything from near-death experiences, to scientific approaches to life extension and the coherence of various religious views of immortality. Judging by his past writings, Fischer is a sceptic about the existence of an afterlife, but thinks personal immortality would be a good thing, if it could be achieved.