Prestigious science award for Jesuit brother

Jesuit Brother and Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno SJ today received one of planetary science's most prestigious awards, the Carl Sagan Medal.  It was awarded to him at the 46th annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division of Planetary Scientists in Tucson, Arizona.

The Carl Sagan Medal was created in 1998 in commemoration of astronomer Carl Sagan, whose popular TV series “Cosmos” helped to generate enthusiasm for science and for space travel.  It “recognises and honours outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public, and is awarded to scientists whose efforts have significantly contributed to a public understanding of, and enthusiasm for, planetary science”.  

Guy Consolmagno is the first religious brother to receive the Sagan Medal. When it announced the award last July, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) said he "occupies a unique position within our profession as a credible spokesperson for scientific honesty within the context of religious belief."

Brother Guy is one of 12 Vatican astronomers. For two decades, he has served as curator of the Vatican's extensive meteorite collection.  He has lectured worldwide including several occasions in Britain and is a regular broadcaster on the BBC, including his own radio show, “A Brief History of the End of Everything,” which discussed the origins of the universe.

“As a Jesuit Brother, Guy has become the voice of the juxtaposition of planetary science and astronomy with Christian belief, a rational spokesperson who can convey exceptionally well how religion and science can co-exist for believers,” the AAS said.