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George V. Coyne

George Vincent Coyne, SJ (1933-2020) was an American Jesuit priest and astronomer. Fr Coyne became Director of the Vatican Observatory in 1978, and also Associate Director of the UA Steward Observatory. During 1979-80 he served as Acting Director and Head of the UA Steward Observatory and the Astronomy Department. As Director of the Vatican Observatory, he was a driving force in several new educational and research initiatives. He spent five months of the year in Tucson as adjunct professor in the University of Arizona Astronomy Department.

From January 2012 until his death, he taught at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. His career was dedicated to the reconciliation of theology and science, while his stance on scripture was absolute: ‘One thing the Bible is not,’ he said in 1994, ‘is a scientific textbook. Scripture is made up of myth, of poetry, of history. But it is simply not teaching science.’

Fr Coyne was invited to the Pari Center on November 25, 2004 to give a talk as part of the Metanexus Local Initiatives Program: Dialogues on Religion and Science. His talk was entitled ‘Scienza e Fede: I limiti e le speranze’ (Science and Faith: The Limits and Hopes.)