The LTWA monastic science initiative began in 1999 at the behest of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It aims to introduce and inculcate the wisdom of modern science in monastic institutions beside regular traditional Buddhist studies. LTWA has been given the primary responsibility to implement this program. Although the LTWA had almost no expertise in modern science at the time, its capacity as a centre of learning serving all the major Tibetan Buddhist traditions and Bon faith was ideal for carrying forward this endeavour.
A group of monastic scholars with a deep understanding of Buddhist philosophy was selected to study science and a team of four translators was set up who would translate various scientific terms into Tibetan as well as organising courses on modern science for a select group of monk scholars. In order to provide science education in a manner that did not distract from the monks intensive program of Buddhist studies, an intensive course was organized between the traditional monastic semesters. Despite the challenges of finding qualified teachers, translators and the daunting but vital task of coordinating participants from several monasteries and teachers from around the world, regular workshops are organized. Western scientists are requested and invited to India for annual workshops designed to teach the concepts Western science to Tibetan monastic institutions. Given the importance and significance of this and the widening scope and challenges, a dedicated full-fledged Science Department was created by the Governing Body in 2007.
Name: Karma Thupten