Archive for the ‘Science and Technology’ Category

Filipino Jesuit Declared Country’s National Scientist

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III conferred the National Scientist award and title on academician, Jesuit Father Bienvenido Nebres.

Fr. Nebres was recognized for his outstanding achievements and accomplishments as a mathematician, educator, mentor and administrator and for his contributions to education and social reform.

In his speech at the conferment rites in Malacañang, President Aquino cited some of the achievements of the 71-year-old Nebres; helping establish the Ateneo Center for Educational Development, which he noted focuses on improving education in public schools. ACED now works with local governments with over 400 public schools in Quezon City, Parañaque, Valenzuela, Nueva Ecija, La Union and other parts of the country.

The President noted that Nebres was now chairman of the Synergeia Foundation which works with public schools in over 200 municipalities, including some in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Nebres said he was supposed to receive the award early this year along with Raul Fabella, his co-awardee as National Scientist for this year, but he said he was in Europe when the Palace announced the award.

He is the 37th National Scientist of the country and one of the only 15 awardees alive today.

Where Faith and Science Meet: Anticipating the Future

Jesuit Father Kevin FitzGerald is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Pharmacology and the Dr. David P. Lauler Chair for Catholic Health Care Ethics at Georgetown University.

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.

Jesuits and the Sciences at Georgetown University

Jesuit Father Kevin FitzGerald

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):
- John O’Malley, SJ; Georgetown University, Theology Department
- Mordecai Feingold; Professor of History, California Institute of Technology

September 19 (Monday):
- John C. Haughey, SJ; Woodstock Theological Center, Senior Fellow
- Ilia Delio, OSF; Woodstock Theological Center, Senior Fellow

September 28 (Wednesday):
- 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.

Jesuit Discusses Intersection of Faith and Science at Event Honoring Galileo

GALILEO-ROMETop 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.

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Jesuit Gives his Picks for Best Catholic iPhone Apps

Jesuit Father Jack McLainShare

Jesuit Father Jack McLain, an Oregon Province Jesuit who is currently rector of St. Ignatius College in Australia, recently offered up his picks for the best Catholic iPhone apps.

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.