3rd Albertus Magnus Faith and Science Lecture features practicing scientists in Catholic institutions

The 3rd Installment of the Albertus Magnus Faith and Science Lecture held on April 19, 2024, at the Seminar-Workshop Rooms of the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex featured lectures and a round table discussion with scientists in Catholic institutions of higher learning. 

The first segment, which was moderated by Rev. Fr. Dexter Austria, O.P., Ph.D. and broadcasted as part of Friar’s Desk, a segment produced by the UST Communications Bureau, featured an interview with Bro. Antonio Cesar J. Servando, FSC of De La Salle University, Sr. Angelina M. Julom, CSFN, Ph.D. of the UST Department of Psychology, and Prof. Rey Donne S. Papa, Ph.D., Dean of the UST College of Science. Their discussions centered on the importance of their Catholic faith as they practiced their professions in different fields of scientific disciplines. They also shared their thoughts on several issues in faith and science, their motivations and inspirations as to why they pursued scientific careers in Catholic institutions, and their hopes for the education of the next generation of scientists educated in Catholic institutions.

The second part of the program featured the lecture of Asst. Prof. Anthony David Medrano, Ph.D. of Yale-NUS College, Singapore. Dr. Medrano’s lecture, titled “From Cocos nucifera to Ophiura panizoi: The story of Science at the University of Santo Tomas” focused on the scientific contributions of academic staff, students, and university units such as the UST Press, the Graduate School, Faculty of Pharmacy and College of Liberal Arts to the growth and development of science in the Philippines from the late-1800s to the mid-1900s. 

He mentioned the contributions of Dr. Leon Ma. Guerrero, Dr. Anacleto Del Rosario, Dr. Leopoldo Faustino, Dr. Lucia Manikis, Prof. Jose Domantay, and Prof. Prudencia Conlu in the fields of Botany, Pharmacy, Chemistry and Zoology respectively. 

Medrano’s lecture was followed by a discussion of Prof. Rey Donne S. Papa, Ph.D. that focused on the contributions of Fr. Casto de Elera, O.P. in the field of zoology through his landmark three-volume catalog of Philippine fauna. 

In his talk, Papa featured a correspondence between Fr. de Elera and his former student – the revolutionary General Antonio Luna, who is himself a scientist who obtained a doctorate in Pharmacy from the Universidad Central de Madrid and took a postdoctoral fellowship at the Pasteur Institute before joining the revolution. This correspondence highlighted the close bond between mentor and mentee. He likewise mentioned how Fr. de Elera can serve as an inspiration in today’s cadre of Thomasian scientists who study different aspects of biodiversity, ecology, systematics, and taxonomy.

This year’s event was jointly organized by the College of Science – Office of the Regent headed by Rev. Fr. Louie R. Coronel, O.P., EHL and UST Pax Romana – Science Unit.

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