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    Grand Rapids, Mich., August 26, 2021 – In recognition of Dr. Orlando Samões’ outstanding research in the fields of ethics, politics and economics, the Acton Institute will be awarding him the 2021 Novak Award.

    Dr. Orlando Samões
    Dr. Orlando Samões

    Named after the distinguished American theologian, the late Michael Novak, this $15,000 award rewards new outstanding scholarly research concerning the relationship between religion, economic freedom, and the free and virtuous society. This award recognizes those scholars early in their academic career who demonstrate outstanding intellectual merit in advancing the understanding of religion’s connection to human dignity, the rule of law, limited government, religious liberty and freedom in economic life.

    Dr. Orlando Samões is the head of the undergraduate degree program in Political Science and International Relations at the Institute for Political Studies at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa (IEP-UCP) as well as the editor-in-chief of Nova Cidadania Quarterly Journal. At IEP-UCP he teaches, as part of a ‘Great Books’ curriculum, on figures such as Adam Smith, Montesquieu, Rousseau, and ‘Publius’. He also teaches decision theory including game theory and public choice economics. Dr. Samões also teaches political science at the Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics.

    Samões received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the Universidade Católica Portuguesa with a thesis entitled “Natural Liberty and Virtue: A study on the ideas of self-love and benevolence in Adam Smith’s thought”. His current research concerns political economy and political theory with an emphasis on the intersections of political, moral and economic principles.

    The Novak Award forms part of a range of academic grants and awards available from the Acton Institute that support those engaged in serious reflection and research on the relationship between religion, the free market, limited government and the rule of law. Details of these academic scholarships may be found at

    Follow Acton news and events for more information about the Calihan Lecture, in which Dr. Samões will discuss some of his research and be presented with the Novak Award.

    About the Acton Institute

    The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Founded in 1990, the Institute works internationally to “promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.” For more information, visit

    Interviews with Acton Institute staff may be arranged by contacting Eric Kohn, Director of Marketing & Communications, at (616) 454-3080 or at [email protected].