Barnes Science and Faith Symposium: Does Science Need God? | October 2017

On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the reformation, Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J., Director of the Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation, will address how our religious assumptions inform the way we do science, from the nature of the questions we ask to the kinds of answers that satisfy our questions.

Keynote speaker, Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ
Does Science Need God?

  • Speaker Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ is Director of the Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation since 1993.
  • The author of more than 200 scientific publications and several books including Turn Left at Orion (with Dan Davis) and Would you Baptize an Extraterrestrial? (with Fr. Paul Mueller, SJ).
  • Has appeared on BBC Radio 4, in numerous documentaries, and on The Colbert Report.
  • Received the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences for excellence in public communication in planetary sciences.
Speaker Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ with a telescope


Scheduled Events


Wednesday, October 4

11:00 a.m. | Chapel Service

Joy and the Cross: Church and Science
Location: Cultural Life Center | Hale Auditorium

4:00 p.m. | Opening Lecture

Why Do We Look to the Heavens?
Location: Cultural Life Center

5:30 p.m. | Dinner and Q&A with Brother Guy

Roberts alumni and guests | $15.00
Location: Garlock Dinner Commons | Ellen Stowe Room

5:30 p.m. | Buffet Dinner

Open to all attendees | $9.00
Location: Garlock Dinner Commons | Main Dining Room

7:30 p.m. | Keynote Presentation

Does Science Need God?
Location: Cultural Life Center

Thursday, October 5

10:50 a.m. | RWC & NES Student/ Faculty event

Being a Scientist, Being a Christian
Location: Smith Hall | Lake Auditorium

*ASL Interpretation available upon request


The Barnes Science and Faith Symposium was established in 2010 to explore issues of science and faith by:

  • Clearly presenting relevant scientific data relating to specific science-faith issues.
  • Articulating Christian perspectives of science-faith issues.
  • Expose the Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary communities to scholars, who are both well-recognized scientists and devout Christians.
  • Encourage students to pursue rigorous academic careers 



The Barnes Symposium is made possible by the generous support of Dr. and Mrs. David Barnes, who have been active participants in the Roberts Wesleyan College community since the 1970s.

Dr. Barnes, professor emeritus in biology, taught at Roberts from 1970-2004. His wife Avis taught in the Pavilion School District for 30 years. They established the Barnes Symposium to foster an annual lecture series that would address issues of science and Christian faith.