School of Religious Studies to host conversations on Science and Faith

Published: 24 March 2023

The ongoing dialogue between science and faith will be the focus of two upcoming events hosted by the School of Religious Studies. Set to take place on March 26th and 27th, the events will include a lecture from Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J., Director of the Vatican Observatory, and a panel discussion featuring scholars from diverse academic and faith backgrounds.

Brother Consolmagno, who holds a Ph.D. in planetary science, will deliver a lecture on Sunday, March 26th, titled "Faith, Science, and the Common Good," in which he will discuss the influence of faith on scientific inquiry and share his insights as "The Pope's Astronomer."

Following his lecture, Brother Consolmagno will join a panel discussion on Monday, March 27th, to discuss the intersection of faith and science in the twenty-first century. Panelists will include Professor Vicky Kaspi of the McGill Department of Physics and Trottier Space Institute, Professor Basil Favis of the Department of Chemical Engineering at École Polytechnique de Montréal, and Professor Cory Labrecque of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at Université Laval. Professor Terry Hébert, of the McGill Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, will moderate the discussion.

Recent research has shown that public trust in science is in decline. According to Professor Kaspi, who will be among the panelists, now is a critical moment to engage in dialogue. "It is important that both domains understand and respect each others' perspectives," she said. "From the science point of view, we need the help of leaders in religious domains to convey the importance and reliability of the scientific method to all people. Especially today, in an era of suspicion about science, as exemplified by, for instance, concerns about vaccines, it is important to band together to ensure rational thought prevails in matters of health and safety and, more broadly, in how we understand the natural world."

In addition, as a scientist who practices Judaism, Professor Kaspi said she looks forward to conversing with fellow panelists: "I am interested in hearing the perspectives of those whose lives are devoted to faith and how they see the role of science in their lives."

The events are free and open to the public, and interested attendees can register through the event pages linked below.

March 26th at 6:30 pm
Brother Guy Consolmagno, Director of the Vatican Observatory, on “Faith, Science, and the Common Good.”
McIntyre Medical Sciences Building (3655 Promenade William Osler): The Charles F. Martin Amphitheatre (Room 504).
Visit the event page

March 27th at 6:00 pm
Panel discussion: "The Intersection of Faith and Science in the Twenty-First Century."
McIntyre Medical Sciences Building (3655 Promenade William Osler): The Charles F. Martin Amphitheatre (Room 504).
Visit the event page

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