An Atheist, a PhD Project, $10000, and an Online Poll May 31, 2011

An Atheist, a PhD Project, $10000, and an Online Poll

Andrew James Latham is a Master’s student at the University of Auckland and a “budding cognitive neuroscientist.”

For his PhD, he’s trying to start up a research program to look at “the cognitive and neural correlates of both religiosity, morality and the interaction between them.”

Religion and morality are synonymous concepts to many people. Research is desperately required to disentangle them and show how they can interact.

Andrew has a chance to win $10,000 NZD ($8,231 in USD) toward seeding this project. All he has to do is win a “People’s Choice” online poll

As I write this, Andrew’s at 66 votes. The leader is at 175 votes.

We can change that pretty quickly, right…?

Just click on the “Vote For Me” button, enter an email and a name, and you’re done.

***Update***: It’s been 40 minutes since the posting went up and Andrew is now tied for first with 203 votes. Excellent!

"The way republican politics are going these days, that means the winner is worse than ..."

It’s Moving Day for the Friendly ..."
"It would have been more convincing if he used then rather than than."

It’s Moving Day for the Friendly ..."

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Erin

    I just voted!

  • Thank you very much for posting. It is very much appreciated as are any votes that you the readers provide!

    If you have any questions, do not be afraid to ask :-).

    Andrew James Latham

  • Meghan

    Voted! His research is a great topic. I hope he wins.

  • caba

    I voted! Best of luck!

  • Annie

    Just voted too. I would love to read the paper when he’s done!

  • Jareth

    He’s already winning, I’m impressed at how quickly readers here are acting!

  • Vanessa

    Now this is a poll worth asking us to vote in, unlike the stupid Ohio voting sticker poll. 😛 I voted for him and hope he wins, It would be great to see some real research on the subject.

  • SkeptiMommy

    I voted! Now he’s in first with 311 votes!
    I just hope our community can keep up his votes considering it doesn’t close until July 17th.

  • Andrew James Latham

    Thank You All!, the response thus far has been humbling. I can assure you it will be papers that are generated :-).

    I will continue to spread the word and generate as much attention as possible. Any assistance, however, is much appreciated.

  • SkeptiMommy

    You’re welcome!

  • Levi Claussen

    Just voted, up to 394.

  • Justin

    How about a post to let us know when he wins? Be sure to let the community know when you have some research to share!

  • Andrew James Latham

    It still got a while to go. As soon as I have research to share, the community will be the first to know. Its the least I can do in thanks for the response you have shown me :-).

  • shen


  • Mimibunny


  • 630, and still in the lead!

  • Gordon


  • Maybe I’m thick – but I think the money should go to the Do Your Things website so they can make it easier to figure out what the top scores are.

    Anyways, it’s good to see the positive effect of cat herding.

  • He’s winning my a significant margin now, but the poll doesn’t close till mid July. Good work everyone!

  • Andrew James Latham

    Thank you all again! Needless to say I will continue the lobbying all the way into mid-July. This is an opportunity I can not let go :-).

  • Thanks for the direct link to Andrew’s page. He doesn’t show up in the list of applicants, no matter how you sort it! Not sure if that is foul play or dumb web-design. All it says is the number of votes the leader has on the right side of the page, but nothing about who is leading.

  • Moose

    I voted-


    As a second option-cross post to Pharyngula-or would that be using a sledgehammer to kill a mosquito?

  • Chris aka “Happy Cat”

    813 after my vote! I was a little curious when this pop-up appeared after voting:

    You’re only allowed one vote each, so make sure you tell your friends, whanau and community to get them voting, so we know who you think has got what it takes.

    Whanau? From the context,I guessed its meaning was “family” or “clan” but it sent me running to Google to confirm. It’s a M?ori word for extended family, so I wasn’t far off. Gotta love the interwebz.

    Good luck, Andrew! Your goal earns my admiration but your location earns my eternal envy.

  • Carrie

    Vote # 834! Good luck!

  • Beau

    I just voted! The count is now up to 984!

  • flapjackboy

    Vote #992 here

  • Currently at 1035.

  • Dan

    How many of you that voted for this guy actually read the other applications and made your own decision? On the other hand, how many of you voted for Andrew just because Hemant said to? You’re all a flock of mindless sheeple! Just as much as any group of religious fundamentalists. You should all be ashamed.

  • CAV

    There is a post accusing Andrew of “hacking the system” because he received a large number of votes in a short period of time (presumably because of this post). Hopefully they won’t disqualify him.

  • 1,071st.

    Anyone checking the vote logs should be able to see they are legit with a few IP address checks.

    Good luck Andrew, nice to see someone back home pushing the cause!

    @Happy Cat: Yes, Whanau = Maori for extended family.

  • Audrey Le Fleur

    If, for some ridiculous reason, Andrew is disqualified, perhaps another fundraiser is in order. You seem to be awfully effective at that, Hemant.

  • 1100 as of my vote. Woohoo!

  • Chris

    Make that 1101. Noted some comments on their Facebook wall claiming ‘hacking’ and it was impossible to get multiple votes a minute for 10 minutes or some such (well done guys, heh!). Hope the organizers do not disqualify Andrew.

  • ephymeris

    Voted as well! Good luck man. I find neurocog/psyche topics very interesting.

  • Andrew James Latham

    Thank you all so much! The response as I have already stated has been overwhelming. If you wish to help further and gurantee the result, please share this page with others (Promoting Hemant, as well!).

  • Meghan

    @ Dan – most of the other applicants want to further their own personal goals, athletics and the fine arts. Andrew is one of the few scientists. So, not a shepple….

    Please keep us updated on this (perhaps reposting as the competition nears its end?).

  • As interesting as a neuroscience is there were a lot of worthwhile opponents and I chose someone else to vote for. Not that it’ll make much difference as I think Andrew will win now.

    I’d like to add that it seems a bit strange to vote for who to give money to in order for them to finish their education. Shouldn’t the state cover basic costs and shouldn’t industry want to attract the best candidates by giving grants?

  • As of now, Andrew has 1452 votes, and the lead is 1852. I’ll post this to my local atheist group; can someone add it to TET at Pharyngula?

  • Meghan

    Repost! The leader has 4000 votes and Andrew only has about 1800!

error: Content is protected !!