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MSRAL 2006 Convention

SLAS Regular Meeting
Friday, April 17th - 7:30 pm
McDonnell Hall, Washington University

Why Does The Pope Have An Astronomer?


Brother Guy Consolmagno,
SJ of the Vatican Observatory

     The interactions of science and religion have provided many interesting topics for discussion over centuries. There have been agreements and disagreements, issues raised and sometimes political policy generated, amiable cooperation and sometimes violent confrontation. Dr. Consolmagno is deeply involved on both fronts – as a professional astronomer at a state-of-the-art research facility and as a Jesuit brother in the Catholic Church. He will talk about the Vatican Observatory and his unusual position as astronomer to the pope. He will also talk about issues raised as far back as the time of Galileo and discuss how it is possible, and reasonable, to believe deeply in both science and religion.
Brother Consolmagno holds a Ph.D. in Planetary Sciences from the University of Arizona. He has been a researcher at MIT and Harvard, a Peace Corps volunteer, and a university physics instructor before entering the Jesuit order. His current research interests include the study of meteorites, asteroids, and the evolution of small icy objects orbiting in distant regions of our solar system. He has served on several governing boards of scientific organizations, presently serving as Chair of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society. He is author of several popular books as well as more than 100 scientific publications.

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