Baylor > Institute for Faith and Learning > News



Astronomer Guy Consolmagno, S.J. Visits Baylor, Gives Lectures

March 8, 2010

The Institute for Faith and Learning, in collaboration with the Department of Physics, the Baylor Society for Conversations in Religion, Ethics, and Science, and the Baylor Student Chapter of the American Scientific Affiliation, welcomed world-renowned astronomer Guy Consolmagno, S.J. to Baylor on Tuesday, March 2, 2010.

A highly regarded speaker, uniquely situated in both the sciences and the religious vocation, Consolmagno gave two lectures and met with a number of faculty and students during his visit.

During his visit, Consolmagno presented a lecture to the Department of Physics titled, "Meteorites, Asteroids, and the Stratigraphy of the Early Solar System." A crowd of more than 260 Baylor students, faculty, and members of the Waco community gathered to hear Consolmagno's public lecture, "The Virtuous Astronomer: How the Work of Science Is Shaped by the Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love" (to watch a video of his lecture, click here).

"Br. Guy Consolmagno is a person of rare gifts," said Dr. Darin Davis, assistant professor of philosophy and IFL director. "A renowned astronomer, prolific author, engaging public lecturer, and Jesuit brother, he helps us to reflect upon the so often assumed conflict between faith and science. Br. Guy's vision is cast towards the heavens in his vocation as an astronomer, and he does so as one committed to science because it reveals a part of divine creation. Thus, he helps us to see that faith and science are not really at odds, but rather depend on one another."

A native of Detroit Michigan, Consolmagno earned degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S. and M.S. in Earth and Planetary Sciences) before taking his Ph.D. in planetary science from the University of Arizona in 1978. From 1978-80 he was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at the Harvard College Observatory, and from 1980-1983 continued as a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at MIT. In 1983 he left MIT to join the US Peace Corps, where he served for two years in Kenya teaching physics and astronomy.

Upon his return to the US in 1985 he became an assistant professor of physics at Lafayette College, in Easton, Pennsylvania, where he taught until his entry into the Jesuit order in 1989. He took vows as a Jesuit brother in 1991, and studied philosophy and theology at Loyola University, Chicago, and physics at the University of Chicago, before his assignment to the Vatican Observatory in 1993.

Consolmagno currently serves as curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Castel Gandolfo, one of the largest collections in the world. Among his several books are The Way to the Dwelling of Light (1998), Brother Astronomer (2000), and God's Mechanics (2007). He has lectured internationally and is a frequent guest on radio and television programs.