|Guy J. Consolmagno|
Consolmagno with the Vatican Meteorite collection in Castel Gandolfo.
September 19, 1952 |
Detroit, Michigan, USA
|Alma mater||M.I.T. (B.A. 1974, M.A. 1975)
Arizona (Ph.D. 1978)
Consolmagno attended the University of Detroit Jesuit High School before he obtained his B.A. (1974), M.A. (1975) degrees at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. (1978) at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, all in planetary science. After postdoctoral research and teaching at Harvard College Observatory and MIT, in 1983 he joined the US Peace Corps to serve in Kenya for two years, teaching astronomy and physics. After his return he took a position as Assistant Professor at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.
In 1989 he entered the Society of Jesus, and took vows as a brother in 1991. On entry into the order, he was assigned as an astronomer to the Vatican Observatory, where he also serves as curator of the Vatican Meteorite collection, positions he has held since then. In addition to his continuing professional work in planetary science, he has also studied philosophy and theology.
His research is centered on the connections between meteorites and asteroids, and the origin and evolution of small bodies in the solar system. In addition to over 40 refereed scientific papers, he has co-authored several books on astronomy for the popular market, which have been translated into multiple languages. During 1996, he took part in the Antarctic Search for Meteorites, ANSMET, where he discovered a number of meteorites on the ice fields of Antarctica. An asteroid was named in his honor by the International Astronomical Union, IAU in 2000: 4597 Consolmagno, also known as "Little Guy".
He believes in the need for science and religion to work alongside one another rather than as competing ideologies. In 2006, he said, "Religion needs science to keep it away from superstition and keep it close to reality, to protect it from creationism, which at the end of the day is a kind of paganism – it's turning God into a nature god." Consolmagno was recently the Chair of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, serving from October 2006 to October 2007.
Consolmagno is a popular speaker as well as a writer of popular science. He has been a guest of honor at several science fiction conventions, including ConFusion and Duckon, in his native state of Michigan in 2002, Boskone in 2007, and ConClave in 2009. He was an invited participant in Scifoo in 2008 as well. He appeared on The Colbert Report in December, 2009 to promote his book, The Heavens Proclaim.
- Worlds Apart (with Martha W. Schaefer, Prentice Hall, 1993)
- Turn Left at Orion (with Dan M. Davis, Cambridge University Press, 1995)
- The Way to the Dwelling of Light (University of Notre Dame Press, 1998)
- Brother Astronomer, Adventures of a Vatican Scientist (McGraw Hill, 2000) Review (Dead link)
- Intelligent Life in the Universe? Catholic belief and the search for extraterrestrial intelligent life (Catholic Truth Society, 2005)
- God's Mechanics: How Scientists and Engineers Make Sense of Religion (Jossey-Bass, 2007)
- The Heavens Proclaim: Astronomy and the Vatican (Vatican Observatory Publications, 2009)
See also 
- Curriculum Vitae (No longer Online) on homepage
- The Forum: Brother Guy Consolmagno: God's Mechanics, audio recording, Grace Cathedral, March 2, 2008, 9:30 am PST
- Scotsman article at news.scotsman.com
- Current Division of Plantary Science Officers at aas.org
- Gold, Frankincense and Mars, December 1, 2009. The Colbert Report
- Vatican Observatory website
- "Brother Guy Consolmagno: Knocking on heaven's door", profile by John Crace in The Guardian, 9 May 2006.
- Interview with Guy Consolmagno at Astrobiology Magazine (2004).
- Interview with Guy Consolmagno from Grace Cathedral's The Forum. A streaming video is also available.
- Guy Consolmagno's BBC radio series 'A Brief History Of The End Of Everything'
- (Italian) Guy Consolmagno, articolo in italiano su Cathopedia