Science Symposium 2022 - Speakers

Orion Nebula

Jennifer WisemanJennifer Wiseman, Ph.D.

Dr. Jennifer Wiseman is a senior astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where she serves as the Senior Project Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope. She previously headed the Laboratory for Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics. She studies star forming regions of our galaxy using radio, optical, and infrared telescopes, with a particular interest in molecular cloud cores, protostars, and outflows. Dr. Wiseman is also interested in science policy and public science outreach and engagement.

Title: Galaxies, Stars, Planets, and Life: A Universe of Wonder

Abstract: Recent advances in astronomy are revealing a dynamic universe filled with massive galaxies, beautiful star-forming nebulae, black holes, and even planetary systems around other stars. The universe also hosts mysteries of dark matter, dark energy, and the possibility of life beyond earth. What is the place and significance of human life in this vast, dynamic Cosmos? This talk will present incredible images and recent discoveries about our universe and will invite reflection on our human responses of awe, fear, curiosity, wonder, and praise.

Jeff HardinJeff Hardin, Ph.D.

Jeff Hardin (B.S., Zoology/B.A., German, Michigan State University; M.Div., International School of Theology; PhD., Biophysics, University of California-Berkeley) is Raymond E. Keller Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jeff's research focuses on how cells in embryos build the basic body plan. He is an award-winning teacher and senior author of World of the Cell (Pearson). Jeff speaks and writes widely on science/faith topics, serves on the Board of the BioLogos Foundation, and cofounded the Isthmus Society to promote science/faith dialogue at UW. Jeff is faculty advisor for several Christian student groups.

Title: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: Embryos, Biology, and Belief

Abstract: The transformation of each of us from a fertilized egg the size of a grain of salt to an organism with trillions of cells arranged in incredibly complicated ways is a wonder of biology. Each of us is a “self-made” individual, as the program of development unfolds, which involves both changes in the expression of genes, but also form-shaping movements carried out on a massive scale with dazingly complicated choreography. The intricacies of this cellular world provide opportunities for profound wonder, but also raise larger questions about our identity and our place in the world, and God’s involvement in each of our life stories.

andrew harrisonAndrew Harrison

English actor Andrew Harrison began his career with the York-based Riding Lights Theatre Co., touring in many of their musicals, comedies, revues and dramas at the Edinburgh Festival and throughout the UK. He began his repertory career playing the lead roles in A Chorus of Disapproval and Serious Money at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter. He made his West End (London) debut in Sir Michael Hordern's Trelawny of the 'Wells'. A regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s drama department, Andrew also has many TV credits including Miss Marple. His film credits include Beyond Narnia (2005) and Florence Nightingale (2005). He has co-created six solo shows with Murray Watts including Mr. Darwin’s Tree and Fire from Heaven, which is touring the US.

Murray-WattsMurray Watts, B.A., Diploma in Theology

Murray Watts is an accomplished playwright and screenwriter. His work in TV, radio, film, and theatre has won national and international awards. Murray Watts was a Senior Scholar in English Literature at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, from 1971-1975. He later studied for a Diploma in Theology at Nottingham University. His screenplays include The Dream starring Jeremy Irons and The Miracle Maker dramatizing the story of Jesus. The Miracle Maker was the highest-rated movie on ABC TV network in the US for Easter 2000 and won the Movieguide/Templeton Epiphany award. His play Mr Darwin’s Tree premiered at Westminster Abbey in 2009 and explores the relationship between science and faith in the lives of Charles Darwin and his wife, Emma. His latest play, Fire from Heaven, explores the life of Michael Faraday, a man of faith who was one of the greatest experimental scientists of the Nineteenth Century and made very significant contributions to the understanding of electromagnetism. Fire from Heaven is sponsored by the Templeton Religion Trust and produced by SCIO: Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford.

Photo credits for space photos used on these symposium pages:
Orion Nebula: Credit: NASA, ESA, T. Megeath, M. Robberto
Hubble Ultra Deep Field: NASA, ESA, H. Teplitz, M. Rafelski, A. Koekemoer, R. Windhorst, and Z.