Professors Giberson and Yerxa Lead International Program
on Science and Religion in Venice

Karl Giberson, Don Yerxa, Tom Oord (top row),
Paul Davies, John Polkinghorne, Owen Gingerich and William Shea (bottom row)
at International Program on Science and Religion in Venice

RSS FeedQuincy, MA Jun 17 - Physics professor Karl Giberson and history professor Donald Yerxa led a one-week science-and-religion seminar in late May and early June at Venice's prestigious Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti.

Giberson and Yerxa were joined by two other program directors: William Shea, Galileo Professor of History of Science at the University of Padua, and Thomas Oord, professor of theology and philosophy at Northwest Nazarene University. The meeting was the first of three annual gatherings, each devoted to a different theme. This year's focus was "God and the Laws of Nature." Funded by the John Templeton Foundation, the competitive program brings together promising graduate students and young scholars, while also guiding established scholars interested in contributing to important interdisciplinary conversations. Featured speakers include the leading science-and-religion scholars in the world. The 2008 lecturers were Sir John Polkinghorne, Anglican priest and former professor of mathematical physics at Cambridge University; Owen Gingerich, professor emeritus of astronomy and of the history of science at Harvard University; and Paul Davies, physicist, acclaimed science writer, and award-winning broadcaster.

"This was such a terrific experience," said Yerxa. "I could not help thinking that 10 years ago I was a participant in a similar science-and-religion summer school at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University. As rich as that seminar was, I could never have predicted that a decade later Karl Giberson and I would serve on the organizing committee of the Venice School for Science and Religion. We had the privilege of interacting for several days with luminaries and young scholars in one of the most spectacular sites along the Grand Canal of Venice."

Future themes for the conference include "What Makes Humanity Unique?" and "Evolutionary Psychology and Values." Plans are in the works to publish selected papers from the conferences.