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Vatican Observatory Director to Deliver BYU’s Summerhays Lecture

Guy Consolmagno, planetary scientist and director of the Vatican Observatory, will deliver BYU’s Summerhays Lecture titled, “Encountering God’s Personality in Creation,” on Thursday, March 10, 2016.

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The Summerhays Lecture has become a BYU tradition since it was first organized in 2003 and is funded and supported by Briant Summerhays in honor of his father Hyrum. The lecture series, sponsored by the BYU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, features a guest speaker who addresses the intersection between science and religion. This year’s event will take place on Thursday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m., in the Joseph Smith Building Auditorium on the BYU campus. The lecture is free and open to the public. 

Consolmagno earned three degrees in planetary science: bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctoral degree from the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. After earning his doctoral degree, Consolmagno worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University and MIT. He also served in the United States Peace Corps in Kenya.

Consolmagno became a member of the Jesuit order, a male congregation of the Catholic church, in 1989. He worked at the Vatican Observatory in various capacities beginning in 1993 before being appointed as its director in September 2015 by Pope Francis. His expertise is in meteors and asteroids, and the International Astronomical Union named an asteroid after him in 2000.

The Vatican Observatory is one of the oldest astronomical research facilities in the world, according to its website. It has research facilities near Rome, Italy, and in Arizona.

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