Yale’s Paul Bloom to receive $1 million Klaus Jacobs Prize
Yale psychologist Paul Bloom is the recipient of the $1 million 2017 Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize for his investigations into how children develop a sense of morality.
The Jacobs Foundation annually honors scientific achievements that are of exceptional social relevance in promoting the development of youth and children.
The foundation cites Bloom’s work — in collaboration with his Yale colleague Karen Wynn — on young babies’ understanding of good and evil. They cite, as well, his arguments, summarized in his books “Just Babies” and “Against Empathy,” concerning the importance of reason and rationality in our moral lives. The announcement quotes Bloom: “It is through our imagination, our compassion, and our capacity for rational thought that we can transcend the primitive sense of morality we were born with, becoming more than just babies.”
With the prize money, Bloom plans to work with his colleagues and students at Yale to continue exploring the nature of moral psychology and how it changes over the course of development.
The foundation was founded in Zurich by entrepreneur Klaus J. Jacobs in 1989. Its endowment in 2016 totaled $5 billion, which funds research projects, intervention programs, and scientific institutions.