Archive for the ‘Science and Technology’ Category
His research interests have included the investigation of abnormal gene regulation in cancer and ethical issues in human genetics, including the ethical and social ramifications of molecular genetics research. He is an expert on ethical issues in personalized medicine, pharmacogenomics, human cloning research, stem cell research, and genetic testing.
Fr. FitzGerald recently sat down with National Jesuit News to discuss how being a priest and a scientist go hand-in-hand, and how the Church should learn to anticipate upcoming ethical questions.
Georgetown University is hosting a series of three events entitled “Jesuits and the Sciences” which will explore the history of Jesuit engagement with the sciences and some challenging questions scientific advancement presents to humanity in the near future. As the University continues the construction of its new science building to house a unique collaboration between Physics, Chemistry and Biology Departments, these symposia will bring faculty and students together to reflect on the significance of the Sciences in the context of a Catholic/Jesuit University.
September 14 (Wednesday):
BEFORE THERE WAS A GEORGETOWN: JESUITS AND THE SCIENCES
- John O’Malley, SJ; Georgetown University, Theology Department
- Mordecai Feingold; Professor of History, California Institute of Technology
September 19 (Monday):
AFTER HUMANS: BLACK HOLES AND TEILHARD DE CHARDIN
- John C. Haughey, SJ; Woodstock Theological Center, Senior Fellow
- Ilia Delio, OSF; Woodstock Theological Center, Senior Fellow
September 28 (Wednesday):
WHAT DIFFERENT JESUIT SCIENTISTS DO DIFFERENTLY
- John Braverman, SJ; St. Joseph’s University, Department of Biology
- Cyril P. Opeil, SJ; Boston College, Department of Physics
- Kevin Fitzgerald, SJ; Georgetown University, Biochemistry/Pharmacology Dept.
All three will take place in Lohrfink Auditorium (McDonough School of Business Rafik B. Hariri Building) from 5:00-7:00PM.
Top Renaissance scientists and scholars gathered on a grassy hill overlooking Rome one starry spring night 400 years ago to gaze into a unique innovation by Galileo Galilei: the telescope.
“This was really an exciting event. This was the first time that Galileo showed off his telescope in public to the educated people of Rome, which was the center of culture in Italy at that time,” said Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, Vatican astronomer, as he stood on the same knoll.
Today, the grassy hill is part of the American Academy in Rome, which celebrated its connection to Galileo earlier this year with a number of events that included a discussion of faith and science with Brother Consolmagno.
The Renaissance men gathered on the Janiculum hill included Jesuit scholars, such as Jesuit Father Christopher Clavius, who helped devise the Gregorian calendar 40 years earlier.
Brother Consolmagno told CNS that the unveiling of the telescope was so significant because “this is the first time that science is done with an instrument. It’s not something that just any philosopher could look at. You had to have the right tool to be able to be able to see it,” because one’s own eyes were no longer enough.
“People then wanted to look for themselves and see if they were seeing the same things Galileo was seeing,” he said.
Fr. McLain wrote that during a recent discussion with a fellow Jesuit about the “inherent goodness or badness of smart phones,” he asserted that there were plenty of Catholic-centric uses for such devices.
“In the great Jesuit fashion, my confrere asked me to prove it. So I began combing through Apple’s App Store in order to find the best Catholic apps I could,” he wrote.
His list focuses on apps that are applicable to the non-tech person who’s looking to use their device to add to their faith life.
Some of the apps he recommends include: Divine Office (which brings up the readings for the day and audio files of the prayers); iCatholicRadio and Radio Vaticana (which stream audio from Catholic radio stations); and 3-Three Minute Retreat (which has a quick reflection for each day from Loyola Press).
McLain’s full list and reviews of his picks are at America magazine.
Br. Consolmagno said one of the primary purposes of the observatory is to be an ongoing demonstration that the church is supportive of science and scientific research. Upon his appointment to the observatory in 1993, he said the first instruction he received was, “Guy, do good science.”
The supposed conflict between religion and science really doesn’t exist, Consolmagno said. “Science grew out of religion.”
Historically, the church has fostered science and the academic life, he pointed out, and churchmen have been in the forefront of scientific advancement.
“There is nothing in the Bible opposing evolution,” he said, “but there is something in the Bible against astrology.”
Biblical literalism is a recent development, not traditional Christianity, he said.
To apply a modern reading to a 2,000-year-old text “does violence to the text,” Consolmagno said, “and that’s not me saying it, it’s Augustine saying it.”
Read more about Consolmagno’s views on science and religion at the La Crosse Tribune.