The Priest Who Fathered the Big Bang
Rescheduled event from 3/14/17.
Georges Lemaitre was a Belgian mathematician, physicist and Catholic priest who conceived the Big Bang model for the origin of the cosmos. Historical research over the past decade has not only shown how central was Lemaitre’s role in the early 20th century search for cosmic origins, but also illuminates the unique difficulties Lemaitre faced in defending his scientific model in view of his very public profession as priest. I will use this fascinating piece of 20th century scientific history to provide a perspective on the present day polemics regarding the interaction of science and religion.