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God's Mechanics: The Religious Life of Techies

Google Tech Talk August 3, 2010 ABSTRACT Presented by Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ How does religion work in a culture shaped by science and technology? How do scientists and engineers practice their religions? How in particular does a Jesuitbrother, and an MIT graduate with a PhD in planetary science, make sense of his Catholicism? God's Mechanics examines the personal religious life and theology of scientists and engineers — "Techies" — based on conversations with nearly a hundred techies in Silicon Valley (interviewed during the spring of 2007 during a six-week stay at Santa Clara University) and a first-person confession from a Jesuit scientist and astronomer at the Vatican Observatory. Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ was born in Detroit, Michigan. He earned undergraduate and masters' degrees from MIT, and a Ph. D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona, was a researcher at Harvard and MIT, served in the US Peace Corps (Kenya), and taught university physics at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania, before entering the Jesuits in 1989. At the Vatican Observatory since 1993, his research explores connections between meteorites, asteroids, and the evolution of small solar system bodies. He observes asteroids, moons, and Kuiper Belt comets with the Vatican's 1.8 meter telescope in Arizona, and curates the Vatican meteorite collection in Castel Gandolfo. Along with more than 100 scientific publications, he is the author of a number of popular books including Turn Left at Orion (with Dan Davis), Worlds Apart (with Martha Schaefer), Brother Astronomer, and God's Mechanics, and for the International Year of Astronomy he edited The Heavens Proclaim. Dr. Consolmagno has served on the governing board of a number of international scientific organizations, including the International Astronomical Union, the Meteoritical Society and the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society. He served as chair of the DPS in 2006-2007, is past president of IAU Commission 16 (Planets and Satellites) and past secretary of IAU Division III (Planetary Systems Sciences) as currently serves on the IAU Working Group on Planetary System Nomenclature. He has held chairs as a visiting Jesuit scholar at St. Joseph's University (Philadelphia), Fordham University (New York), and LeMoyne College (New York).
Length: 55:17


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