Jesuit Astronomer Wins Prestigious Award

Brother Guy Consolmagno Praised for Excellence in Showing How Religion and Science Can Co-Exist

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To show the Church is not opposed to science, Catholic scientists should not hesitate to share their love of science with their communities.

This is the view of Jesuit brother and papal astronomer Guy Consolmagno who was just awarded the prestigious Carl Sagan Medal for “outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist” by the American Astronomical Society’s (AAS) Division for Planetary Sciences, according to the Huffington Post.

According to an AAS press release, “Guy has become the voice of the juxtaposition of planetary science and astronomy with Christian belief.” It added he is “a rational spokesperson who can convey exceptionally well how religion and science can co-exist for believers.”

The website of the Society of Jesus said Brother Consolmagno was honored because he “occupies a unique position within our profession as a credible spokesperson for scientific honesty within the context of religious belief.”

In addition to being renowned for his home astronomy guidebook, “Turn Left At Orion,” and his BBC radio show “A Brief History of the End of Everything,” he is known for his many public lectures which help convey the excitement of scientific inquiry to the general public. In 2014, he delivered the commencement address at Georgetown University.

In his late 30s, he became a Jesuit after working for the Harvard College Observatory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Peace Corps.

Crediting his Jesuit background with allowing him to help talk about his faith in a public manner, he has said one of the “greatest blessings of my vocation” is that “I can concentrate on communicating my passion for my science and let my collar do the rest of the talking for me.”

This award will be presented to Brother Consolmagno at the 46th annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences in Tucson, Arizona, in November. The Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope, operated by the Vatican Observatory, is located nearby, in southeastern Arizona’s Pinaleno Mountains near Mount Graham (D.C.L.)

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