Science!: Conversations and Community Series

October 18, 2017 - April 28, 2018

Science!: Conversations and Community Series


Science and faith have something in commonthe capacity to invoke a sense of wonder by engaging the world around us! Join us for this series led by scientists working in some of the fascinating areas that affect our daily lives. No science background is necessary.

The six-part series is open to full or individual date subscriptions. Sessions include content provided by the presenter and discussion. Following the morning sessions, participants are invited to chapel and lunch for further discussion. Event leaders will be available during lunch until approximately 1:30 p.m. Note: February and March 2018 events will held off-campus so chapel will not be part of those sessions.

Conversations will be held one Wednesday each month from October-December 2017 and February-April 2018.

Registration / CEUs / Directions


Cost: FREE! This series is free thanks to the generous underwriting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

CEUs: 0.2 for each session

Directions: Free parking is available behind the chapel and library on the Seminary campus. Get directions to PTS.

Upcoming Session Themes and Leaders

Oct. 18, 2017, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. / The Wonder of Science / James Downey, Vice President for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, PTS

Have you ever wondered about science and how it relates to faith?  What do things like quantum mechanics, gravity waves, toilet paper, and neuroscience have to do with God and creation? Why do some see conflict and others see synergy? These questions and more will be explored in an interactive exploration of the wonder of science.

Nov. 15, 2017, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. / Our Model of the Universe / Arthur Kosowsky, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh

The last twenty years have brought, for the first time in human history, a precise understanding of the properties and evolution of our universe over almost all of its history. This is our modern creation story. I will explain what we know, and what we don’t know, about our universe from a scientific perspective.

Dec. 6, 2017, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. / The Science of Language / Michael Dickey, Associate Professor of Communication Science and Disorders, University of Pittsburgh

We use language in every aspect of our daily lives, from pleasantries to prayers.  But we rarely consider how we seemingly effortlessly find the words we need, or what life would be like without them. This class explores the science behind the question of how we use and understand language, and how we can recover that language when it is lost (for example, after stroke).

Feb. 21, 2018, 9:30 a.m-1:00 p.m. / Teaching a Machine to Learn / Tim Howe, Software Engineer, Google This session will meet at Google’s Bakery Square offices. Let us know of mobility issues. – SOLD OUT

March 21, 2018, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. / Creation, Intelligent Design, and the Evolutionary Process / Stephen J. Tonsor, Director of Science and Research, Carnegie Museum of Natural History. This session will meet at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Let us know of mobility issues. – SOLD OUT

In The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins attempts a refutation of 18th century theologian William Paley’s argument for the existence of God, which Paley based on observation of what he saw as intelligent, purposeful design in the natural world. In this talk, I will consider the sublimely complicated, delightful, and miraculous process through which life evolves its myriad forms, inviting participants to re-consider the meaning of purpose, design and intelligence.

April 18, 2018, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. / Genetic Engineering: Hubris, Man’s/Manifest Destiny, or Ethical Obligation? / Lisa S. Parker, Professor of Human Genetics and Director of the Center for Bioethics and Health Law, University of Pittsburgh

We will begin by examining some of the basic scientific developments that make intentional genetic engineering increasingly possible. Then we will discuss the range of views that people may have with regard to this possibility. We will try to illuminate the beliefs underlying these different views, their strengths, and their problems.