Faith and Science: One Stop Shopping!

We're pleased to announce the latest outreach project of the Vatican Observatory Foundation: A Faith and Science resource site (click here!)

Science and religion meet! It was at my Jesuit high school, U of Detroit High, where I first saw Erlenmeyer flasks being used as cruets at the Mass. These are at the Jesuit community chapel at Boston College.

The idea is to have a place where Catholic educators – and educated Catholics – can go to find links to materials all over the web dealing with a variety of topics on the broad issue of Faith and Science.

This web site is not complete, of course, and probably never will be... new material is being posted (and being brought to our attention) all the time. In fact, when you go to the site you'll notice a certain bias towards material that our own members of the Vatican Observatory, past and present, have prepared and posted on-line.

Rather than describing it further, I encourage you to go explore the site itself. And if you have comments or suggestions, please let us know.

However, there's one point I do want to make here. Sites like these don't happen for free. We've paid several folks (not nearly what they're worth) to help design and assemble the coding for the site, and then to find the materials to include, and then to write up the descriptions so that users can get an idea of the individual resources contain – their content, academic level, size, and format – before jumping into them.

The initial funding for all this work has come from a very generous grant from the Templeton foundation. But that funding is only seed money to get us started.

While we insist on making the site open to the public, just like this Catholic Astronomer blog is open for anyone to read, we need donations from the folks like you to keep it running. How can you help out?

We have a place here where you can send us one-time donations. But in fact the best thing, from our point of view, would be if you joined this Catholic Astronomer site as a monthly donor... $10 a month as one of our Pleiades cluster (or more, if you've got the resources) makes all the difference. At the moment, our membership is just enough to cover the costs of this blog. We need more members, to cover the cost of the Faith and Astronomy web site as well.

If you like what we're doing... can you consider joining us in our work? And please, do spread the word. (Say a prayer for us as well...)


Br. Guy Consolmagno

About Br. Guy Consolmagno

Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ is Director of the the Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. A native of Detroit, Michigan, he earned undergraduate and masters' degrees from MIT, and a Ph. D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona; he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard and MIT, served in the US Peace Corps (Kenya), and taught university physics at Lafayette College before entering the Jesuits in 1989.

At the Vatican Observatory since 1993, his research explores connections between meteorites, asteroids, and the evolution of small solar system bodies, observing Kuiper Belt comets with the Vatican's 1.8 meter telescope in Arizona, and applying his measure of meteorite physical properties to understanding asteroid origins and structure. Along with more than 200 scientific publications, he is the author of a number of popular books including Turn Left at Orion (with Dan Davis), and most recently Would You Baptize an Extraterrestial? (with Father Paul Mueller, SJ). He also has hosted science programs for BBC Radio 4, been interviewed in numerous documentary films, appeared on The Colbert Report, and for more than ten years he has written a monthly science column for the British Catholic magazine, The Tablet.

Dr. Consolmagno's work has taken him to every continent on Earth; for example, in 1996 he spent six weeks collecting meteorites with a NASA team on the blue ice regions of East Antarctica. He has served on the governing boards of the Meteoritical Society; the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences (of which he was chair in 2006-2007); and IAU Commission 16 (Planets and Satellites). In 2000, the small bodies nomenclature committee of the IAU named an asteroid, 4597 Consolmagno, in recognition of his work. In 2014 he received the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences for excellence in public communication in planetary sciences.

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