Today on the podcast we are joined by Brother Guy Consolmagno. Often referred to as the Pope’s Astronomer, Brother Guy is the director of the Vatican Observatory and head of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. He has a foot in two worlds. In one, he is a scientist. He specializes in meteorites and is a graduate from MIT and the University of Arizona. In the other, he is a Jesuit Brother and has lunch with the Pope.
The Vatican Observatory has a vast collection of meteorites, which is perfect for survey work and for collecting clues to how the solar system formed. We talk about these meteorites, as well as other work the Vatican Observatory does. Then Brother Guy and I discuss science and religion. It’s often a controversial topic, but one that, as you can imagine, Brother Guy deals with on a daily basis. Is there a conflict between science and religion? Where did the perceived debate between science and religion originate from? But even further, we discuss why we are compelled to do science in the first place, why the pursuit of pure science is so important, and the surprising commonalities between science and religion.
Brother Guy also cowrote a book: “Would you Baptize an Extraterrestrial?:… and other Questions from the Astronomers’ Inbox at the Vatican Observatory”. So I ask him – would you baptize an extraterrestrial? Where did the universe come from? What about the multiverse? And other questions of deep scientific and theological interest.
If you ever wondered how a scientist can be religious, this podcast with the Pope’s Astronomer is for you!