Founder of the Benjamin T. Chu Distinguished Lecture background

Dr. Benjamin T. Chu Distinguished Lecture

In honor of Dr. Peter J.W. Debye

The Dr. Benjamin T. Chu Distinguished Lecture celebrates the meeting of faith and reason at Catholic institutions, as well as the major contribution that Norbertines have made through history to the sciences.

The lecture invites scholars who not only have distinguished themselves in the physical sciences but who also have demonstrated that faith plays a significant role in their work and/or personal life.

Dr. Benjamin Chu is a 1955 graduate and past trustee of St. Norbert College. One of the college’s earliest Asian students, he was born in China in 1932 and was steered to SNC by Irish Jesuits who ran a high school in Hong Kong. He would go on to a distinguished career as a chemist, researcher and entrepreneur at SUNY-Stony Brook.

While pursuing his graduate and postdoctoral work at Cornell University, Chu studied under the acclaimed physicist and physical chemist Dr. Peter J.W. Debye, winner of the 1936 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Debye would prove to be a major and lasting influence on countless students, including Ben.
2024 feature lecture

When Science Goes Wrong — And Why We Love It!
Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ
Tuesday, March 19
Watch the recording.

Lecture description
When we think that following science is a sure way to get to all the right answers, we misunderstand the nature and history of science. We can only get closer to the truth by recognizing where and how we have gone wrong. Even Galileo’s revolution in science included some truly bizarre ideas of what the Earth looked like and how (and why) it was situated in the heavens. What can this tell us as we grapple today with dark matter and dark energy ... and how we understand our search for God, who is Truth itself?

About Br. Guy
Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ is the Director of the Vatican Observatory. A native of Detroit, Mich., he earned bachelor's and master's degrees from MIT, and a Ph.D. in planetary science from the University of Arizona. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard and MIT, served in the US Peace Corps (Kenya), and taught university physics at Lafayette College before entering the Jesuits in 1989. At the Vatican Observatory since 1993, Pope Francis appointed Dr. Consolmagno as director of the Vatican Observatory in 2015.