For ten years the Werner Erhard Foundation produced an annual theoretical physics conference that brought together leading scientists from all over the world to address the critical issues and problems confronting work at the forefront of their fields. The conferences were attended by the leading thinkers in the field. Some of the discussions later evolved into what are now leading edge theories in physics. One of the conferences attended by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Susskind is discussed in this video:
Over the ten years the Werner Erhard Foundation sponsored the Physics Conferences other participants included Stephen Hawking and Gerard t'Hooft.
"The est backed physics conferences developed into a robust annual tradition. The second meeting, held in January 1978 on quantum gravity, attracted such luminaries as Stephen Hawking...The 1979 meeting on phase transitions, focusing on how quantum theory can describe the shifting boundary between order and disorder at the atomic scale, such as ice melting into water, likewise spurred important results. Participants at the meeting thanked Erhard and the est foundation for facilitating inspiring discussions in an article published in the prestigious Physical Review Letters. And so it went: every year for a decade, the est foundation's physics conferences attracted star after star of the physics firmament," from David Kaiser's book, How The Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture and Quantum Revival.
Physicists at the Second Annual Physics Conference (courtesy of David Kaiser)
In 1988 Werner Erhard was presented the Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award:
“In honor of your notable effort to end the starvation and hunger suffered by millions throughout the world and for drawing broad public awareness to the value of integrity in our everyday lives.”