Vatican Expert to Discuss Relationship of Religion and Science
Released: April 19, 2006
MILWAUKEE – The director of the Vatican Observatory, Rev. George Coyne, S.J., will discuss the evolving universe in a free, public lecture at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26, in Marquette University’s Alumni Memorial Union ballroom.
In a speech entitled “Dance of the Fertile Universe: Chance and Destiny Embrace,” Father Coyne will examine the vast variety of objects -- gas, galaxies, frogs, humans – in the universe, asking two basic questions: What is the best scientific understanding of how they came to be? And: Does God have something to do with it?
Father Coyne, who has a doctorate in astronomy from Georgetown University, is also an adjunct professor in the University of Arizona’s Astronomy Department. Under his leadership since 1978, the Vatican Observatory expanded from its traditional site on top of the Pope’s summer home at Castel Gandolfo to a second site on Mt. Graham in Arizona where the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) is located. Coyne also founded the Vatican Observatory Summer Schools, the alma mater of more than 200 young astronomers from 50 nations.
His primary area of research concerns the polarization of light and how that affects the distribution of matter around stars. However, with the encouragement of the late Pope John Paul II, Father Coyne has also actively addressed the relationship between science and faith – through research conferences, speeches and publications.
Father Coyne’s Marquette visit will kick off an annual lecture series named in his honor. Mercedes Hurley Hughes, an alumna of the College of Arts and Sciences and an emeritus trustee of the university, endowed the Reverend George V. Coyne, S.J., Lecture in Astronomy and Astrophysics to enable the university and the greater Milwaukee community to be enriched by the research of an astronomer or astrophysicist.
The lecture series is sponsored by Marquette’s Department of Physics. “Father Coyne exemplifies a life in which faith and science strengthen and support one another,” Ruth Howes, physics chair, said.
A 6 p.m. reception will immediately precede the lecture.
Please reply by
April 24 to University Special Events at (414) 288-7431 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested media should contact Anne Broeker in the Office of Marketing and Communication at (414) 288-0286.
Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Alumni Memorial Union Ballroom
1442 W. Wisconsin Ave.
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