July 14, 2014 — Because of his unique perspective as both a scientist and a man of faith, Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno has been awarded the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society (AAS).
The Division for Planetary Sciences of the AAS, which gives the award to one individual each year, chose Br. Consolmagno because he “occupies a unique position within our profession as a credible spokesperson for scientific honesty within the context of religious belief.” The award is named after the late astronomer Carl Sagan, who was a popular author and writer of the 1980 television series “Cosmos.”
The AAS recognized Br. Consolmagno for his diverse methods of reaching the public and for his achievements, including his numerous books and speaking engagements in both Europe and the United States, including his commencement address to the class of 2014 at Georgetown University.
Especially notable was his book “Turn Left at Orion,” which “has had an enormous impact on the amateur astronomy community, engendering public support for astronomy,” said the AAS.
The AAS also noted Br. Consolmagno is frequently interviewed on BBC radio about planetary science and had his own BBC radio show, “A Brief History of the End of Everything,” which discussed the origins of the universe.
“As a Jesuit Brother, Guy has become the voice of the juxtaposition of planetary science and astronomy with Christian belief, a rational spokesperson who can convey exceptionally well how religion and science can co-exist for believers,” the AAS wrote.
This year’s AAS awards will be presented at the 46th annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences in Tucson, Arizona, in November. [Source: Division for Planetary Sciences]