The Institute on Religion in an Age of Science has named V.V. Raman as its new president following the group’s annual conference, which was held at the Chautauqua Institution in New York in June.
Raman is emeritus professor of physics and humanities at the Rochester Institute of Technology and a long-time participant in the religion and science dialogue via IRAS and other groups. He has written extensively on science and religion via articles and books and in 2005 was elected a senior fellow of the Metanexus Institute on Science and Religion. He is a fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR) in Cambridge, U.K.
His latest book, Truth and Tension in Science and Religion, was published in 2009 and details Raman’s views on how religion and science can fit together without a loss of integrity of one over the other. He is also known for his poetry which he has traditionally contributed at IRAS conferences.
He has also written on many aspects of Indian heritage and culture and in 2006 was the recipient of the Raja Rao Award that honors and recognizes writers who have made outstanding contribution to the literature of the South Asian Diaspora.
IRAS was established in 1956 and celebrates science’s unrelenting pursuit to unravel every observed aspect of perceived reality, its countless contributions to human knowledge, and its efforts to grasp the natural world in a framework of reason and coherence. At the same time, though its individual members hold different views on the need for traditional religions, and their relevance in the modern world, IRAS as an organization respects enlightened religious worldviews, according to Raman.
“The human experience is complex, colored and enriched by history and culture. It is not easy, and may not be helpful, to break links with traditions and sacred texts altogether, for these have brought meaning and purpose to life to countless millions over the ages,” he writes. “The human spirit continues to be awed by the unfathomable mystery of the why and the wherefore for all of existence.”