Science Corner: In Case You Missed It (ASA 2019)

b&w photo of columned edifice at Wheaton College

Weren’t there? Don’t feed your FOMO; check out the talks and be a part of the ongoing experience. (Photo by kethcart )

The American Scientific Affiliation annual meeting was a few weeks ago at Wheaton College. I did not have the privilege of attending this year. While the fellowship and conversations (and volleyball) cannot be replicated after the fact, I am very grateful that ASA provides an extensive archive of audio and slides, and in some cases video, of the various talks. That way folks like me, and even folks who did attend but could not be in more than one place at a time, have a chance to partake in some of what we’ve missed. I recommend looking through all the options yourself (you might find the schedule/abstract book easier to scan than clicking through individual abstracts on the media archive page), but I’ve tried to highlight a few talks here that I think look interesting.

Before that, however, allow me to mention an event still to come. On Friday, September 13th, I will be speaking in Lancaster, PA on the theme of Victory in Avengers: Endgame. Check out the link for details and tickets. I hope to see some of you there. Now, back to the ASA meeting.

Naturally, the plenary talks are a big draw which ASA recognizes by providing video. I certainly appreciate hearing from Deb Haarsma and Kenneth Miller; at the same time, I don’t think they need much more endorsement from me. I’ll embed the plenary videos at the bottom of this post for your convenience. James Sherley is less familiar to me; I’m curious to hear his talk about his life in science, both because he came to science from a different background than me and also because he wound up in the private sector like me.

Hannah Eagleson organized an Emerging Scholars track for students and early career scientists. I found that track worthwhile last year, and I expect this year to be equally informative and practical. Here is the audio from those sessions:

Finding God in His World: How Working in Science Strengthens Our Faith

What I Wish I’d Known: Best Practices for Thriving as an Early Career Science and Technology Professional

Building Bridges with Secular Colleagues in Science and Technology

Choosing the Best Path for You: Making Good Career Decisions at Moments of Transition

Phenotypic plasticity is a topic I’m curious about, and the Irish elk is a stunning creature, so this talk from Matthew Morris about both seems worthwhile:

This microbiologist says “yes please” to Sarah Richart’s talk about connections between environmental plastics and microorganisms.

And as a sci-fi fan, I want to hear what Faith Stults has to say about cosmology and Contact in the high school classroom.

ESN Contributor Johnny Wei-Bing Lin had a talk on creation care and creating dialogue and compromise on environmental topics.

There was a series of talks on women in science. This session by Loryn Phillips on the past, present and future of trailblazers sounds like a good place to start.

Finally, Adam Wright discusses the philosophical/theological (?) writing of physicist and atheist Sean Carroll.

Of course, that is just a sample of the available talks. If you attended the meeting and having other sessions to commend to the group, or if you find an interesting talk in your exploration of the archive, please share in the comments.


Plenary I: Exploring Many Worlds

Deborah Haarsma

Plenary II: Living a Scientist’s Life

James Sherley

Plenary III: Darwin, God, and Design: Grandeur in an EvoluƟ onary View of Life

Kenneth Miller

Plenary IV: God Decides, We Measure

Gerald Gabrielse

Plenary V: Perspectives on Life and Creation

Gayle Woloschak

Plenary VI: The Mirror of Creation: An Unfailing Witness in Scripture and in the Theology of John Calvin

Jennifer Powell McNutt

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Andy Walsh

Andy has worn many hats in his life. He knows this is a dreadfully clichéd notion, but since it is also literally true he uses it anyway. Among his current metaphorical hats: husband of one wife, father of two elementary school students, reader of science fiction and science fact, enthusiast of contemporary symphonic music, and chief science officer. Previous metaphorical hats include: comp bio postdoc, molecular biology grad student, InterVarsity chapter president (that one came with a literal hat), music store clerk, house painter, and mosquito trapper. Among his more unique literal hats: British bobby, captain's hats (of varying levels of authenticity) of several specific vessels, a deerstalker from 221B Baker St, and a railroad engineer's cap. His monthly Science in Review is drawn from his weekly Science Corner posts -- Wednesdays, 8am (Eastern) on the Emerging Scholars Network Blog. His book Faith across the Multiverse is available from Hendrickson.

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