Why do governments spend billions doing something as esoteric as visiting an asteroid? Why does the Vatican support an astronomical observatory with a meteorite laboratory? And why do we individuals choose to spend our lives in pursuit of pure knowledge?
The motivation behind our choices, both as individuals and as a society, affects the sorts of science that gets done; the kinds of answers that are found to be satisfying; and ultimately, the way in which we think of ourselves.
Speaker : Br. Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory and president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation.
Br. Guy was born in the USA and started his scientific career there with a Ph.D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona, a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard College Observatory and a postdoc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then spent two years in Kenya teaching physics and astronomy as a member of the US Peace Corps. Back in the US, he took vows as a Jesuit brother in 1991 and kept studying physics and astronomy together with philosophy and theology in Chicago until he started his position at the Vatican Observatory in 1993. Br. Guy is a very active servant of the scientific community (Met. Soc., IAU, AAS) and authored books on astronomy and the on the link between faith and science. He is the 2014 medalist of the Carl Sagan Award for outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public.
A conference organized by the IPGP theme Origins.