Biographies of speakers

Timothy Anderson received his MS in Computer Science at George Mason University in 2004 and is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at The Catholic University of America.  He has worked as a software engineer at Leidos (formerly Science Applications International Corporation) since 2004.  Last year he began teaching philosophy courses on Thomas Aquinas and modern philosophy at The Christendom College Graduate School of Theology in Alexandria, Virginia.  His PhD dissertation, directed by Robert Sokolowski, extends the phenomenological critique of artificial intelligence from an Aristotelian/Thomistic perspective.  Dr. Anderson is an Associate of the Society of Catholic Scientists.

Christopher T. Baglow is the Director of the Science and Religion Initiative of the McGrath Institute for Church Life of the University of Notre Dame. (PhD Theology 2000, Duquesne University) Since 2005, Prof. Baglow has directed numerous programs for faith-science integration at Catholic high schools, and is Director of Foundations New Orleans, a week-long summer seminar for Catholic high school science and religion teachers. Prof. Baglow is the author of the landmark high-school textbook Faith, Science and Reason: Theology on the Cutting Edge (Midwest Theological Forum, 1st ed. 2009, 2nd ed. 2019). Prof. Baglow is a Director of the Society of Catholic Scientists.

Simon Conway Morris, FRS, is Chair of Evolutionary Palaeobiology at the University of Cambridge.  He is best known for his work on the Cambrian explosion, the Burgess Shale fossil fauna, and similar deposits in China and Greenland. In addition to working in these countries he has undertaken research in Australia, Canada, Mongolia and the United States. His studies on the Burgess Shale-type faunas, as well as the early evolution of skeletons, has encompassed a wide variety of groups, ranging from ctenophores to the earliest vertebrates.  In January 2017, his team announced the discovery of an early ancestor of vertebrates, a bag-like sea creature, which lived about 540 million years ago. He gave the 2007 Gifford Lectures.and is the recipient of many other prestigious awards including the 1987 Walcott Medal, the 1989 Charles Schuchert Award 1989, the 1998 Charles Lyell Medal, and the 2007 Trotter Prize. He is the author of several books, including Life’s Solution (Cambridge, 2003).  Prof. Conway Morris is a Christian who has lectured widely on the relation of science and faith.

Timothy Dolch is Assistant Professor of Physics at Hillsdale College. He received his BS from Caltech and his PhD in Physics & Astronomy from the Johns Hopkins University in 2012. Before joining the faculty of Hillsdale College, he held postdoctoral positions at Oberlin College and Cornell University, both with the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) collaboration. . In NANOGrav he chairs the Education and Public Outreach Working Group. He is also a research scientist with Eureka Scientific, Inc. Primarily a transient radio astronomer, his research focuses on pulsars and using them as tools to detect gravitational waves from merging supermassive black holes. He is an author on 49 refereed publications and has taught courses in quantum mechanics, general relativity, computational physics, and astronomy. With Hillsdale students, he constructed the Low-Frequency All-Sky Monitor, an on-campus radio telescope.  Prof. Dolch is a member of the Society of Catholic Scientists.

Sister Stephen Patrick Joly, O.P., is a perpetually professed member of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. She earned her PhD in Cell and Microbial Biology from The Catholic University of America in 2018. Her dissertation was titled “Identification of SUP5: A Protein that Interfaces with the Deviant ATP-Binding Site of the Yeast Pdr5 Multidrug Transporter.” Sr. Stephen Patrick is currently a high school science teacher at Lansing Catholic High School and has taught Honors and General Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology, AP Biology, Physical Science, and Meteorology & Astronomy. She is a member of the Society of Catholic Scientists.

Jonathan I. Lunine is David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences of Cornell University and Director of the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science.  (PhD  Planetary Science 1985, Caltech) Prof. Lunine does research in astrophysics, planetary science and astrobiology. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and among other awards is the recipient of the Jean Dominique Cassini Medal of the European Geosciences Union (2015) and the Basic Sciences Award of the Int. Academy of Astronautics (2009).  He is the author of Astrobiology, A Multidisciplinary Approach (Pearson Addison-Wesley, 2005) and Earth: Evolution of a Habitable World (2nd ed., Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013).  Prof. Lunine is Vice President of the Society of Catholic Scientists.

Karin I. Öberg is Professor of Astronomy and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Harvard. Her research focuses on how chemistry affects star and planet formation and the likelihood of forming habitable planets. Recent highlights include observations of snowlines and organic molecules in Solar Nebula analogs where exoplanets are currently assembling. Dr. Öberg obtained a B.Sc. in chemistry at Caltech in 2005, and a Ph.D. in astronomy at Leiden University in 2009. She received a Hubble Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2009 and joined the Harvard faculty in 2013. At Harvard, her research in astrochemistry has been recognized with a Sloan fellowship, a Packard fellowship and the Newton Lacy Pierce Award. Prof. Öberg is a Director of the Society of Catholic Scientists.

Lawrence M. Principe is the Drew Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University and Professor in both the Department of History of Science and Technology and the Department of Chemistry. He is also Director of the Charles Singleton Center for the Study of Premodern Europe. Principe's main studies concern the early history of chemistry, and he is recognized as one of the foremost experts on the history of alchemy. He is the first recipient of the Francis Bacon Medal by the California Institute of Technology for significant contributions to the history of science in 2004.  His book Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry was awarded the Pfizer Award by the History of Science Society in 2005.  In 2016, he received the Franklin-Lavoisier Prize in Paris from the Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie and the Chemical Heritage Foundation.  He has written extensively on the historical relation of science and religion.  Prof. Principe is a member of the Society of Catholic Scientists.

Javier Sanchez-Cañizares is Professor in the Science, Reason and Faith group (CRYF) at the University of Navarra. He received a PhD in Physics in 1999 from the Autonomous University of Madrid and his PhD in Theology in 2005 from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.  He has published in the areas of experimental condensed matter physics, foundations of quantum mechanics, philosophy of science, science and religion, and theology.  Fr. Sanchez-Cañizares is a member of the Society of Catholic Scientists.

Christopher Shingledecker is Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Benedictine College in Atchison, KS. Previously, he was an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation postdoctoral research fellow in Germany, where he worked at both the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Munich and the University of Stuttgart. His research is in theoretical computational astrochemistry, with a focus on molecule formation on interstellar dust and ice.  He received his PhD from the University of Virginia in 2018 under the supervision of Eric Herbst. He is one of the recipients of the 2017 Rao Prize and has more than 30 papers in journals including ScienceNature Astronomy, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Prof. Shingledecker is a member of the Society of Catholic Scientists.

Natasha Toghramadjian is a third-year PhD student at Harvard University studying geophysics, with a focus on earthquakes and strong ground motion predictions. Funded by a U.S. Fulbright Research Grant, she spent 10 months in Armenia as a geophysical researcher on the NSF-funded, Caucasus-wide “Transect Project,” designing a collaborative statistical seismology study on reservoir-triggered earthquakes and aiding in the deployment of 100+ new seismic stations and analysis of incoming seismic data for tomographic modeling of the Caucasus’ crustal and mantle structure. She has done several field studies in the Seattle area.  Her research is supported by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and Harvard Ashford Fellowship.  She is a Student Member of the Society of Catholic Scientists.

Jordan Joseph Wales is an Associate Professor of Theology at Hillsdale College. He received his MTS and PhD in Theology from the University of Notre Dame after studying under a British Marshall Scholarship in the UK, where he received a Diploma in Theology from Oxford and a MSc in Cognitive Science and Natural Language from the University of Edinburgh. He teaches historical theology and writes on early Christianity as well as contemporary questions relating to theology and Artificial Intelligence. His work has appeared in the journals AI & Society and Augustinian Studies, among others. As an advisor to the Pontifical Council for Culture’s new “Center for Digital Culture,” he collaborates with other theologians on questions relating to AI.  Prof. Wales is a Scholar Associate of the Society of Catholic Scientists.

Jennifer J. Wiseman is a senior astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where she serves as the Senior Project Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope. She previously headed the Laboratory for Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics. She studies star forming regions of our galaxy using radio, optical, and infrared telescopes, with a particular interest in molecular cloud cores, protostars, and outflows. She led a major study that mapped a star forming region in the constellation Orion.  Wiseman is a Christian and a Fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation and a member of the BioLogos Board of Directors. On June 16, 2010, Wiseman was introduced as the new director for the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion.