Br. Guy Consolmagno with the Vatican Meteorite collection in Castel Gandolfo. (*)
Brother Guy J. Consolmagno, SJ (born September 19, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan), is an American research astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican Observatory.
He obtained his B.A. (1974), M.A. (1975) degrees at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. (1978) at the University of Arizona, all in Planetary Sciences. After postdoctoral research and teaching at Harvard College Observatory and MIT, in 1983 he joined the US Peace Corps to serve in Kenya for two years, teaching astronomy and physics. After his return he took a position as Assistant Professor at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania .
In 1989 he entered the Jesuit order, and took vows as a brother in 1991. On entry into the order, he was assigned as an astronomer to the Vatican Observatory, where he also serves as curator of the Vatican Meteorite collection, positions he has held since then. In addition to his continuing professional work in planetary science, he has also studied philosophy and theology.
His research is centered on the connections between meteorites and asteroids, and the origin and evolution of small bodies in the solar system. In addition to over 40 refereed scientific papers, he has co-authored several books on astronomy for the popular market, which have been translated into multiple languages. During 1996, he took part in the Antarctic Search for Meteorites, ANSMET, where he discovered a number of meteorites on the ice fields of Antarctica.
He believes in the need for science and religion to work alongside one another rather than as competing ideologies. In 2006, he said, "Religion needs science to keep it away from superstition and keep it close to reality, to protect it from creationism, which at the end of the day is a kind of paganism - it's turning God into a nature god.". Guy Consolmagno was recently the Chair of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society , serving from October 2006 to October 2007.
* Worlds Apart (with Martha W. Schaefer, Prentice Hall, 1993)
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