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2011 Seminars

Values and Virtues (For Chinese Scholars)
June 27 - July 22, 2011

Directed by:
Dr. Ted Davis and Dr. Robin Collins (Messiah College)

Guest Speakers

Owen Gingerich is Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and of theHistory of Science at Harvard University and a senior astronomer emeritus at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Gingerich is an internationally recognized authority on the life and work of Nicholas Copernicus, the 16th century cosmologist who proposed the heliocentric system, and the 17th astronomer century Johannes Kepler. Additionally, Gingerich is the lead author of two successive models of the solar atmosphere and in 2000 he won the Historical Astronomy Division’s Doggett Prize for his contributions to the history of astronomy. The AAS awarded him their Education Prize for 2004.  He has also won the most prestigious award of the French Astronomical Society, their Prix Janssen 2006.

Besides 200 technical or research articles and 300 reviews, Professor Gingerich has written more than 250 educational, encyclopedia or popular articles. Two anthologies of his essays have appeared, The Great Copernicus Chase and Other Adventures in Astronomical History from Cambridge University Press, and The Eye of Heaven: Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler. At Harvard he taught "The Astronomical Perspective," a core science course for non-scientists, which at the time of his retirement in 2000 was “the longest-running course under the same management” at Harvard. In 1984 he was one of the first to win the Harvard-Radcliffe Phi Beta Kappa Award for Excellence in Teaching. 

Jeff Hardin is Professor and Chair of the Zoology Department at the University of Wisconsin‑Madison. His research interests focus on how cells migrate and adhere to one another to change the shape of animal embryos, using C. elegans as a model system. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In addition to numerous scientific research articles, Jeff is the senior author of World of the Cell (Pearson). Dr. Hardin's teaching is enhanced by his extensive use of video‑microscopy and his Web‑based teaching materials, which are used on many campuses in the United States and other countries. He is faculty director of the Biology Core Curriculum, a four‑semester honors biology sequence for undergraduates.

Alvin Plantinga is one of the most important and influential philosophers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. After receiving his Ph.D. from Yale in 1958, he taught at Wayne State University (1958-63), Calvin College (1963-82), and has filled the John A. O'Brien Chair of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame from 1982 until his retirement in 2010.  His publications range over a wide variety of fields, but his most enduring contributions have been in metaphysics, epistemology, and, especially, the philosophy of religion. In 1980, Time Magazine, reporting on the remarkable resurgence of religious philosophy, identified Plantinga as the world’s “leading philosopher of God.”

Robert J. Russell is the Founder and Director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, and the Ian G. Barbour Professor of Theology and Science in Residence at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. He holds a Ph.D. in experimental physics from the University of California, an M.Div. and an M.A. in theology and science from the Pacific School of Religion, an M.S. in physics from the University of California, and he triple-majored in physics, religion and music at Stanford University. He is ordained in the United Church of Christ and is a member of the Society of Ordained Scientists. Professor Russell is the author of Cosmology from Alpha to Omega: Towards the Mutual Creative Interaction of Theology and Science (Fortress Press, 2008).  He has co-edited a multi-volume series of books focused on scientific perspectives on divine action through an international research conference program co-sponsored by CTNS and the Vatican Observatory, including such topics as quantum mechanics, chaos theory, evolutionary and molecular biology, the neurosciences, and quantum cosmology. His current research topics include: resurrection, eschatology and scientific cosmology; quantum mechanics, biological evolution and divine action; evolution, theodicy and christology; philosophical assumptions in contemporary scientific cosmology and their theological roots; time and eternity from a Trinitarian perspective in relation to time in physics.

Russell serves as Co-editor of Theology and Science journal. Dr. Russell co-edited Resurrection: Theological and Scientific Assessments, (Eerdmans, 2002) and edited Fifty Years in Science and Religion: Ian G. Barbour and His Legacy(Ashgate, 2004). He is the winner of a PCRS/Templeton Grant for Research and Writing on the Constructive Engagement of Religions and Science for his proposed book, Time in Eternity: Theology and Science in Mutual Interaction.