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Director’s Corner: A Look Back and A Look Forward

Jennifer Wiseman

Welcome to the DoSER Director’s Corner! Here Jennifer Wiseman shares her reflections on public dialogue at the interface of science, ethics, and religion and how DoSER is working to support constructive exchange and understanding between these communities. This is also an opportunity to explore positive and productive ideas; we welcome your thoughts.

A Look Back and A Look Forward

Dear DoSER Friends,

It’s still January and already 2011 is receding in the rear view mirror. We here at DoSER wanted to take a minute to highlight some of the exciting moments of our last year and to anticipate what lies ahead.

At the 2011 AAAS Annual Meeting we held symposia that covered issues ranging from local to extraterrestrial! We explored how to develop more positive understanding between the evangelical, scientific, and policy communities, and also how various religious traditions and worldviews might respond to evidence indicating that Earth-like planets are common, or rare. Also in 2011 we made great progress on our theological education project and held two exciting events that brought seminary administrators, professors, and students together with pastors and scientists to develop practical steps and resources for incorporating forefront science into core seminary courses. DoSER ended the year with our annual Holiday Lecture and Reception at which MIT nuclear engineer Ian Hutchinson and Harvard physicist Lisa Randall discussed the limits and powers of science. Nearly 300 audience members filled our auditorium to capacity to hear our speakers address the question ‘Can science explain everything?’ and to participate in a rousing question and answer session.

The momentum of 2011 continues into 2012 as DoSER makes plans to join members of the international scientific community in Vancouver, BC for the AAAS Annual Meeting. This year’s symposium will explore what religious questions are raised in science classrooms beyond evolution, and consider how teachers can best address them. Our fantastic speakers include Francis Eberle, Executive Director of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), Ken Miller, Professor at Brown University, and Peter Hess, Director for Religious Community Outreach at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). Please come join us for this fascinating event and as well as our annual reception.

Thank you all for joining us in the science, ethics and religion dialogue, and we look forward to another exciting year ahead!

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