In 1998, BR founded the Bad Religion Research Fund to offer a research grant to fund field research.
"Bad Religion has spent almost two decades questioning and challenging the tacit, dogmatic structure of our society. Our methods have been non-traditional in that we have used the avenues of pop-culture and the media. But since we have always promoted questioning instead of professing to know all the answers, our process has been fundamentally scientific. Through our works, we have advanced many testable hypotheses about the world we live in. This research fund was created to allow students to pursue field-oriented investigations in cultural or natural science. It is an award with an educational focus and is meant to promote self-motivated discovery, practice of the scientific method, and experience in scientific writing. All of the band members have travelled throughout the world and have a strong interest and understanding of science. Greg Graffin, the lead singer, has a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology and a Master of Science degree in Geology from UCLA. He has spent four years on a Ph.D. at Cornell in Zoology but is not yet finished with that degree."
Greg Graffin: "We sent out circulars to all the universities offering between $3,000 to $5,000 for students who want to do field work in natural or cultural sciences. But it has to be field work: You have to go out into nature and observe. So far, there are probably on the order of 300 proposals. There are a lot of granting agencies that give money for scientific inquiry. But increasingly, there's very little funding available for field-oriented projects. That's because the 'sexy sciences' these days are genetics, DNA, and proteine research that all takes place in labratories. To me, that's not nearly as educational as going out into nature and observing the environment. A trip through inner space - which is what you're doing if you're looking at molecules - doesn't give you much of an understanding of the interactions of different species in our environment, which is ultimately what sustains us as people, the environmental theater. We're going to give one award this year, and one award next year - hopefully it'll become an annual award. We were surprised at how many universtities took immediate interest in it because of this fact: There are a lot of people who want to do natural-history studies. I would love for Bad Religion to be one of the primary motivators of natural-history education - that'd be wonderful. People need to be educated to understand where we fit biologically. The reason we're doing it is education - that's what Bad Religion has been about since the beginning. We never pretended to have the answers, but we always asked questions. Hopefully, we've provoked people to come up with their own answers through observations."
The recipients were planned to be chosen by the band itself. Graffin: "There's no corporate sponsorship behind it. It's money that comes straight from the band. The tickets and t-shirts kids buy allows us to have the money to give to the scholarship fund. It's coming from just the five of us in the band. And we're all going to make the choice together. It will be a band committe decision."
Jay: "Every year we review theses from students that are doing field study, not labratory work. We basically find one or two of them that don't require a ton of money, and aren't asking for beer and surf wax to go to Mexico and study fish. It's really all about the field studies because that's what Graffin does; he's into biology studies. He knows that $200 can go a long way on water when you're out in the desert and doing research. When the schools and other facilities won't fund that kind of stuff, which they usually won't if there's no find and they're not going to make a ton of money. These people just get left out. They don't get anything. We realized that it doesn't cost a lot of money to do this. It's something that anybody could do, we just happen to do it because our singer is one of those researchers. We put a percentage of our earnings into the fund and then every year somebody gets it."
"The award carries a $3000.00 stipend and will be given to the most innovative research proposal we receive.
Who may apply: Any university or high-school student (with valid registration credentials).
Purpose of the award: To promote field studies in the cultural or physical sciences.
Proposals will be judged on the following criteria:
The judges are the band members."
In early 2000, the guidelines were much more enhanced:
There is no formal application form. However, proposals should be typed, double-spaced, no more than ten pages long, and clearly written in English. The application should contain the following sections:
When the field-work is completed a written summary of the research is required. The findings of the investigation should be summarized in a document that is no more than five pages long (double spaced). The summary should also include a short section on how the money was spent and all necessary receipts must be submitted as proof. If any of the money was not spent, it should be returned to the Bad Religion Research Fund.
1998: Lena Sharon Nicolai, University of Michigan, Department of Biology. Research topic: "Dispersal of mycorrhizal fungal spores by rodents and consequent effects on tree seedling establishment and forest regeneration".
1999: Will Reeves, Clemson University, Department of Entomology. Research topic: "Exploration and Identification of the Invertebrate Cave Fauna of the Great Smoky Mountains".
2000: Walter Fuller, Loyola Marymount University. Research topic: "Physiological Effects of Excess Atmospheric CO2 on Plant Ecosystems".
As of March 2000, the Bad Religion Research Fund 2000 was planned to be announced in June of the same year. It didn't work out, though. It was the same in 2001: "Because of drastically changed schedule of priorities this year, we must postpone the announcement of this year's award. We received a number of excellent proposals this year, but we won't have a chance to read them until after the album is finished. That means that an announcement can be expected no earlier than the Fall. We are sorry, but we had to prioritize our efforts, and we felt that a new album would have to take precedent.
We are in the process also of initiating a program whereby companies and individuals can make tax-deductable contributions to the research fund. When this is initiated we hope to be able to raise enough money to fund more than one proposal, perhaps as many as five proposals each year.
This administration will probably not happen until late Summer / early Fall."
In 2002, Graffin said: "It is coming along slowly. There are a lot of legal hurtles to jump over and we have limited resources, but we are working toward that goal and by next year we hope to iron out a lot of it."
|08/02||added General and Guidelines info - By wrong planet|