Jennifer Wiseman is the new director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion.
The program was set up in 1995 to foster communication between scientific and religious communities. The post builds on the AAAS’ long standing commitment to relate scientific knowledge and technological development to the purposes and concerns of society at large. In June, Wiseman moderated a panel discussion at the AAAS Auditorium in Washington, DC, on “Re-Envisioning the Science and Religion Dialogue”.
Wiseman currently also heads the Laboratory for Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. She is also the incoming senior project scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope.
In her scientific work, Wiseman studies the formation of stars and planetary systems using radio, optical and infared telescopes. As an undergraduate research assistant, she discovered comet Wiseman-Skiff in 1987. She earned her doctorate in astronomy from Harvard University and continued her research as a Jansky Fellow at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and a Hubble Fellow at the John Hopkins University.
Wiseman says she has had leaders of seminaries ask for help in incorporating more science courses and information into their curricula for clergy in training.
“With continuing battles over the teaching of evolutions in the schools and new fundamentalist attacks on the reliability of climate science, there is a need more than ever for a constructive conversation between scientists and religious groups,” said Alan Leshner, chief executive officer of AAAS and executive publisher of Science.