Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J. - Director of the Vatican Observatory

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Admission is free and open to all. Refreshments will be served.

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Brother Guy J. Consolmagno, S.J. - Director of the Vatican Observatory

Scientific theories must do more than merely satisfy the data; they must do so in a way that is (to use the 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 be tested against 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 a deeper understanding that satisfies both reason and emotion. Ultimately, this link between "elegance" and rational truth has profound theological implications. 

About the Speaker:
Brother Guy J. Consolmagno, S.J. is a leading American research astronomer, internationally renowned speaker, Jesuit brother, Director of the Vatican Observatory in Rome, and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation.

Br. Guy, a native of Detroit, earned 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 1980-83 he continued as a postdoc and lecturer at MIT. In 1983 he joined the U.S. Peace Corps where he taught physics and astronomy in Kenya for two years. In 1985 he became an assistant professor of physics at Lafayette College 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. Br. Guy’s research explores the connections between meteorites and asteroids,and the origin and evolution of small bodies in the solar system.

In this lecture, Br. Guy will help bridge scientific and religious understanding of the cosmos as he reflects on science and aesthetics in "Astronomy, God, and the Search for Elegance."

Event Co-Sponsors:

  • Office of the Dean of Science and Sustainability
  • Catholic Studies at Aquinas College
  • Franciscan Life Process Center*

*In the event you would like to learn even more, the Franciscan Life Process Center is hosting "God and the Universe, a Dinner Conversation with Brother Guy J. Consolmagno, S.J." March 16 from 6-8 P.M.  Dinner will be served at 6 P.M., followed by a presentation. For more information, visit:

Wege Ballroom, 3rd Floor (The Wege Student Center is located adjacent to the Academic Building). Parking is available in the Plymouth lot (#14), Mayfield lot (#4), Wege lot (#10) and the Fulton lot (#1). Parking Map.