The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, was awarded an honorary degree in Rome during a visit he is using to promote harmony among religions.
Rome's Third University, part of the state university system, on Saturday gave the Dalai Lama an honorary degree in biology in recognition of "considerable progress" made by the spiritual leader's Mind and Life Institute in exploring the relationship between the brain and the mind, biochemistry professor Pier Luigi Luisi said.
In comments on Italian state radio, the Dalai Lama sounded amused that he, while not a scientist, was receiving the biology degree but said he was glad his work on the relationship with biology and the mind was being recognized.
The Dalai Lama "personifies the dialogue between science and spirituality," Luisi said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
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