“Astronomy, God, and the Search for Elegance”
Scientific theories must do more than merely satisfy the data; they must do so in a way that is (to use a term much favored by mathematicians) “elegant.” Kepler, Maxwell, and Einstein are examples of scientists who found that a sense of esthetic “rightness” helped them to direct their scientific intuition toward theories that could then be expressed rationally, mathematically; theories that could then lead to deeper insights about nature. By looking closely at a handful of astronomical images, we’ll explore the way that one proceeds from an emotional appreciation of the beauty of the stars and planets, to an understanding that satisfies both reason and emotion. Ultimately, this link between “elegance” and rational truth has profound theological implications.
About The President’s Performing Arts and Lecture Series
The President’s Performing Arts and Lecture Series offers a wide-ranging selection of events annually. These events are designed to appeal to our faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and our community in Northeast Oklahoma.
All attendees must present a FREE ticket to enter.
All Ages FREE*
*Must present a FREE ticket to enter (including ORU faculty, staff, and students)
*FREE tickets available online & in-person ONLY at the Mabee Center Box Office in the North Lobby
*Mabee Center’s Box Office in the North Lobby will be open until 5pm on 1/22/19 (day-of) for Will Call pick-up
and for FREE advance tickets
*All FREE advance tickets will be available until 5pm on January 22
*Entry for this event will be at the Global Learning Center entrance ONLY
Brother Guy J. Consolmagno
Director of the Vatican Observatory
President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation
Area of Research: Asteroids and Meteorites
Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ, an American research astronomer, was born in 1952 in Detroit, Michigan. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in 1974 and Master of Science in 1975 in Earth and Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and 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 postdoc 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.
In spring 2000 he held the MacLean Chair for Visiting Jesuit Scholars at St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, in 2006-2007 the Loyola Chair at Fordham University, New York, and in fall 2009 the Lanigan Chair in Science, Medicine, and Ethics at LeMoyne College, Syracuse. He has also been a visiting scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center and a visiting professor at Loyola College, Baltimore, and Loyola University, Chicago.
Br. Consolmagno has served on the governing boards of the Meteoritical Society; the International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) Division III, Planetary Systems Science (secretary, 2000 – present) and Commission 16, Moons and Planets (president, 2003-2006); and the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences (chair, 2006-2007). Since 2008 he has been a member of the IAU Working Group on Planetary System Nomenclature and the Mars Nomenclature Task Group; in 2015 he became chair of the Mars TG.
He has coauthored two astronomy books: Turn Left at Orion (with Dan M. Davis; Cambridge University Press, 1989) and Worlds Apart (with Martha W. Schaefer; Prentice Hall, 1993). He is the author or co-author of four books exploring faith and science issues, including The Way to the Dwelling of Light (U of Notre Dame Press, 1998); Brother Astronomer (McGraw Hill, 2000); God’s Mechanics (Jossey-Bass, 2007), and Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? (With Paul Mueller, Image, 2014). He is also author of Brother Astronomer: Adventures of a Vatican Scientist (McGraw-Hill, 2000) and has edited The Heavens Proclaim (Vatican Observatory Publications, 2009). Since 2004 he has written a monthly column on astronomy for the British Catholic periodical, The Tablet.
Marriott Tulsa Southern Hills
South Tulsa’s Premier Choice & Partner of the Mabee Center
For Mabee Center’s special rate, visit TulsaMarriott.com and choose your check-in and check-out dates, click ‘Special Rates’, click ‘Corporate/promo code’, enter 09Z and lastly, click ‘View Rates’.
1902 East 71st Street
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74136 USA
Make your next visit to The Sooner State a stay at the stylish Marriott Tulsa Hotel Southern Hills. Relax and rejuvenate at our hotel’s full-service spa, voted Top Spa in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Enjoy our heated indoor pool or work up a sweat in our modern fitness center with built-in TVs and iPod connections for watching movies or listening to your favorite tunes. Keep hunger at bay in our on-site restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All of our hotel’s guest rooms are equipped with coffee makers, alarm clocks with MP3 jacks, mini-fridges, luxurious bedding and 37-inch flat-screen HD TVs. As one of Oklahoma’s best hotels, we offer premium event space perfect for small or large gatherings. Our striking facilities, featuring 43,000 square feet of flexible space and impeccable catering, are unsurpassed in Tulsa, Oklahoma.