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Monday, June 30, 2008

Congratulations, Father Coyne

Father George Coyne, an astronomer and former director of the Vatican Observatory, has won the 2008 Mendel Medal. The medal, bestowed by Villanova University, is named in honor of Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian friar and botanist who balanced his religious studies with his revolutionary research into genes and heredity. The award is given "to outstanding scientists who have done much by their painstaking work to advance the cause of science, and, by their lives and their standing before the world as scientists, have demonstrated that between true science and true religion there is no intrinsic conflict." Coyne will receive the medal during a ceremony at The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia (which currently houses an exhibit on Mendel's life, work, and influence) on September 6.