The Smithsonian Institution's new George E. Burch Fellowship in Theoretic Medicine and Affiliated Theoretic Sciences will be awarded to young researchers with demonstrated potential for ground-breaking studies in a health-related discipline. An endowment from the Burch Heart Research and Education Fund will allow the institution to award one fellowship each year.

The late George E. Burch, Jr. was a cardiologist and champion of what he called "venture research," the pursuit of philosophical connections and theoretical knowledge for their own sake. He is also credited with devising the idea behind the MacArthur Fellowship program, the so-called genius awards.

The Burch Fellowship, which offers a stipend and research allowances, is intended to free the recipient to devote one year, full-time, to the study of some theoretical topic that bears on the improvement of human health. The research need not be conducted entirely at Smithsonian facilities, but the researcher's field should have a...

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