By RNZ Pacific West Papuan fighters have killed an Indonesian soldier in a renewed threat to Jakarta’s road project there. State news agency Antara reported the hit-and-run attack on Saturday took place in Nduga regency, where pro-independence
'By RNZ Pacific West Papuan fighters have killed an Indonesian soldier in a renewed threat to Jakarta’s road project there. State news agency Antara reported the hit-and-run attack on Saturday took place in Nduga regency, where pro-independence forces are waging war on the Indonesia’s military. An Indonesian researcher, Hipo Wangge, said it was the ninth killing of a security officer by the West Papua Liberation Army since April. READ MORE: West Papuan suffering will go on if NZ doesn’t take stand, says Rosa Moiwend The soldier was reportedly securing the Trans-Papua road project, a major effort by the Indonesian government to develop remote areas of Papua. In December, part of the project near Nduga was put on hold when Liberation Army fighters massacred 16 construction workers . The attack – the bloodiest in years to take place in Papua – prompted a massive deployment of Indonesian military and police to Nduga in a hunt for the fighters, sparking sporadic gunfights which have taken dozens of lives in the months since. Rights groups have said that thousands of people have been displaced from Nduga. According to one group, at least 139 displaced people have died of malnutrition and disease in a temporary camp in nearby Wamena city. Indonesian military spokesperson Muhammad Aidi told Antara that in Saturday’s attack the soldier suffered a gunshot wound to his waist and later died, with a helicopter rescue effort hampered by bad weather. This article is published under the Pacific Media Centre’s content partnership with Radio New Zealand.'
By RNZ Pacific West Papuan fighters have killed an Indonesian soldier in a renewed threat to Jakarta’s road project there. State news agency Antara reported the hit-and-run attack on Saturday took place in Nduga regency, where pro-independence
Immediately following the Christchurch Mosque Shootings the National Telehealth Service expanded by 120 staff to counsel more than 800 New Zealanders by phone. Don Rowe visits to learn how they did it. In the 24 hours following the Christchurch
'Immediately following the Christchurch Mosque Shootings the National Telehealth Service expanded by 120 staff to counsel more than 800 New Zealanders by phone. Don Rowe visits to learn how they did it. In the 24 hours following the Christchurch Mosque Shootings an army of counsellors mobilised across New Zealand. Psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers scrambled to man the phones as the country reached out for comfort, support and answers. In her third statement to media, at 9am on Saturday 16th March, prime minister Jacinda Ardern encouraged the grief-stricken nation to call 1737, the national mental health line, to talk. In an office building just off Auckland’s Grafton Road, overlooking the oldest bowling club in the Southern Hemisphere, the phones started ringing. That day more than 120 additional staff would conduct over 800 counselling sessions, and all of them totally free. They haven’t stopped since. Last month, there were more than 11,000 sessions. The National Telehealth Service was established in 2015 as a private-public partnership to bring phone services like Healthline, Quitline, Gambling Addiction Support, and The Lowdown under one efficient umbrella. By 2018, they were receiving more than 630,000 contacts a year, supporting tens of thousands of smokers, people with addictions, and those suffering from mental health issues through text and phone-based counselling sessions. The service employs more than 400 staff from Kaitaia to Bluff, all trained to deal with the worst situations people can go through. But nobody could have prepared for Christchurch. Syazwa Anwar works across the entirety of the services provided at the Telehealth centre. She arrived on Sunday, 24 hours after Jacinda Ardern’s statement. “When I walked into the space I saw a lot of calls waiting, and I could sense the anxiety and trauma,” she says. “I hadn’t spoken to anyone and yet I could feel that anxiety in the air. Of course, I knew what had happened, but personally as a Muslim I felt confused. I was trying to make sense of what happened, but I also knew I needed to be here to support my team.” As video footage of the terrorist attack spread across the internet, shared thousands of times across multiple platforms in the immediate aftermath, the traumatised unloaded on the service’s counsellors. Additional rooms were set-up for staff sessions, where counsellors could triage their own emotions with supervising staff. “During that period when we were so busy, and we had staff feeling affected by what had happened, and people sharing quite graphic information, it was a very tough time for us,” says Anwar. The counsellors employed by the Telehealth centre receive mandatory monthly evaluations, and staff are trained to avoid emotional burnout, but in the days following the attack they flocked to the office, with Muslim members assembling to create guidelines for media reporting, and conversations at home. The guidelines were translated into Arabic, Farsi, Indonesian, Malay, Somali, Turkish and New Zealand Sign Language, and would be downloaded more than 7500 times, as well as disseminated throughout newsrooms across the country. Other staff were put on planes to Christchurch. “We were all shaken,” says Anwar. “But when you work you have that professional hat on, and so in some ways it wasn’t so different than speaking to someone who is suicidal, which we get a lot – you’re just there for the person.” Demand for services like 1737, one of the world’s only text-and-phone based counselling providers, can spike at unpredictable times. There’s the “John Kirwan effect”, where a public subversion of the common narrative destigmatises – even just for a moment – subjects like depression, and movements like #metoo, where the veil drops on a systemic problem. Even what’s on TV can have an effect, Anwar says. “Before Christchurch, we had the Michael Jackson documentary. Following the documentary we had a big increase in calls about sexual harm, and then there were also people who had seen the documentary and needed someone to talk to for comfort, and there were people who were opening up for the first time about their own trauma.” The NTS also provides a Safe To Talk line, where victims and potential perpetrators of sexual assault can talk anonymously with counsellors. At the heart of the Telehealth service is ease of access, says the NTS’ Calvin Cochrane. Eighty percent of calls are answered within 20 seconds, and the txt service pioneered worldwide by The Lowdown lowers the barrier again, especially for the young. The system was recently upgraded to allow for the use of emojis, part of an effort to provide easier, more empathetic conversation over txt. Cochrane says the service is consistently looking at ways to innovate, most recently sending executive and IT staff to study what works abroad. “Internationally, in places like America, AI is employed to triage incoming calls and messages, alerting supervisors and counsellors to high risk sessions. Words like ‘pills’ or ‘military’ can give an early heads-up that a session might be particularly intensive or risky. That’s something we could do here. The IT team are always trying to integrate new tech into the counselling process, not just making sure the phones stay on. Of course, it’s all informed by clinical research – but we’re always looking at what can be done differently to combat our mental health statistics.” The process is iterative, Cochrane says, and even changes to things like hold music are considered from a clinical perspective. Demand is unpredictable, but the government’s consistent messaging on mental health and promotion of 1737 has driven growth and thus technical investment. In the days after Christchurch, Jacinda Ardern could be seen with a 1737 pin. But the beating heart of the service remains counsellors like Syazwa Anwar, manning the phones 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year round. “We grieve as a nation and I think it helped not only me but everyone here to push through, because we know we’re the national service and it’s an honour having the nation’s faith that we will be here to support people through such a terrible time,” she says. “That helps us to come here every day and do the best that we can.” National Telehealth Service (1737 need to talk) – 1737, available 24/7 Safe to Talk (sexual harm helpline) – 0800 044 334, available 24/7'
Two days after Elon Musk's SpaceX launched 60 satellites in May as part of a mission to bring quick internet service to people worldwide, astronomers noticed something different.As some of the satellites zipped past the Lowell Observatory..
Shortly after Alfred Keating was revealed as the suspect in the Washington DC embassy toilet camera case, the commanding officers of New Zealand's navy, many of whom knew the commodore, were warned not ..
Just days before Alfred Keating stood trial over a hidden bathroom camera found at New Zealand's Washington DC embassy, our military brass fretted over a rumour he would wear his naval uniform in court.The ..
Part II of NZ Catholic’s interview with the director of the Vatican Observatory, Br Guy Consolmagno, SJ.In one of the anecdotes he related while talking about his work at the Vatican Observatory, he spoke of going to Mass at a time when he was doing
'Part II of NZ Catholic’s interview with the director of the Vatican Observatory, Br Guy Consolmagno, SJ.In one of the anecdotes he related while talking about his work at the Vatican Observatory, he spoke of going to Mass at a time when he was doing research in Hawaii.Tourists made up one-third of the congregation.Naturally, the priest asked the tourists where they were from.The priest came up to him and asked, “where are you from, sir?” He replied “I’m an observer from the Vatican”. NZC: When did you decide that you wanted to be an astronomer?Br Guy : When I was a kid, I had many things I wanted to be.I wanted to be a newspaperman.I wanted to be an astronaut.I wanted to be an astronomer.I wanted to be a chemist.All these little kid ideas.I wanted to be a priest.Most of your adult life, I’ve discovered, is fulfilling the dreams you had as a kid.So, it’s really important that kids have a chance to dream.My route to becoming an astronomer was very convoluted.When I went to high school, I studied classics.I didn’t think I was going to do science anymore.I thought science was sort of a cliché. Everybody was doing science.I wanted to do something different.When I went to university, I happened to be studying history at a different university in Boston, where I had a good friend from high school who was studying at MIT (The Massachusetts Institute of Technology). When I visited him, I just fell in love with that place.I fell in love with that sense that wonderful things were happening here and I wanted to be part of it.I wanted to be there.To my amazement, when I applied to transfer and start a whole new course of study, they accepted me.They let me do it.That was amazing.My first semester, in terms of classes, was difficult.I had a hard time.I was struggling with the math, struggling with the physics.Yet, I was just so happy to be there that I didn’t care about the struggles.In fact, I almost enjoyed the struggles because it meant it was a kind of commitment, that I am really here and I am really engaging with stuff that is hard. [He paused.] I’m talking about this in ways I’ve never thought before.When I entered the Jesuits, I wanted to teach.I did not want to join the observatory.When they asked me to join the observatory and do stuff that I didn’t want to do, I was delighted, because I was so happy to be doing something hard.One of the ways that you love somebody is to do the hard things for them.There is a joy even in the difficulty.That’s how I felt starting my scientific work.I loved it because it was hard.NZC: Why astronomy?Br Guy : A part of it was . . . of course, one of the attractions of going to the MIT was they had a wonderful science fiction collection.I was enthralled by stories and storytelling.My father was a great storyteller and I loved not only the stories he told, but seeing how he would tell them, how you construct the stories.Science fiction stories are adventures that take place on planets.So, it was completely natural to study ‘what were planets like?’ Because planets were places where people can have adventures.NZC: Does the day-to-day get tedious?Do you look at the sky and not get awed?Br Guy: When the work becomes routine, then you look at the sky, because you never take it for granted.The more you know about the sky, the more you have to be amazed that the computer program that I’d been struggling to make work is talking about that dot of light up in the sky.It’s not something so totally abstract that I can’t see it.Eventually, I go back and say, those are the planets, these are the stars.This is the real thing, not just a representation.That is what gives me back the joy and the energy and reminds me why I am doing this.So, it is precisely looking at the sky that resurrects the desire and the awe and the love to make me go back and face that computer program again.I never get bored by the sky.NZC: What do you do in your free time?Br Guy: Free time.What a concept!It’s different now that I’m the director.I don’t do that much science anymore.On a few occasions, I get to play a little bit.But most of the time, I’m building up the observatory.I’m making sure that the members have the resources they need to do the science and have the fun that I was able to do for so many years.It’s my turn to make sure that they get to do what I was able to do.And to go out and show the world what it is we’re doing.Because, at the end of the day, when Pope Leo XIII founded the observatory in 1891, it was to show the world that the Church supports good science.We have got to have the good science, but we also have to have somebody to show the world.These talks that I’m giving in New Zealand are essential to the life of the observatory.It’s really important to us that I have this venue and share the fun.What do I do in my spare time?For a while, especially when I moved back to America and thought I was going to be spending more time there, it turns out I’m not.But I got a Netflix account to watch movies.I discovered that I would watch ten minutes of the movie and go ‘no, this is boring’, I find another one and find another one and after two hours, go to bed having never seen a movie till the end.What’s worse, I discovered that I stopped reading books.So, I just cancelled my Netflix account, turned off the TV and just started reading books.Now, I read books.Sometimes, it’s rereading books that I haven’t read for ten years.Nothing wrong with that, because you go back and see things that you haven’t noticed the first time.Sometimes, it’s reading new books.I’m much pickier about whether I’ll finish a book . . . My book has to do three things: it has to show something I haven’t seen before, it’s got to make me turn the pages and it’s got to tell the truth.It’s hard to do all three in a book, but once you do, you come away richer.Years ago, I was in Munich.I had a free afternoon and I went to the art museum.It’s a fine arts museum, but not one of the famous ones in the world.There were a lot of paintings of cityscapes.As soon as I stepped out of the museum, I realised, I was in the city.Seeing the paintings of the cityscapes made me pay attention to the city I was in.Seeing stories about people then suddenly makes me recognise that these stories may be fiction, but they are also true.It’s a way of pulling me out of the fog of myself and my desires and ‘do I want a candy bar?’ and ‘do I want to go back and stare at the computer some more’ and break out of that and look at the world of trees turning colours and mothers with small children and clouds in the sky that gives you dramatic and scary moments.That sense of pulling yourself out of yourself is something especially, I think, in our modern culture we need to do more.Stop looking at the telephone screen and look at reality.NZC: What’s new with the Vatican Observatory?Br Guy: New people are coming in all the time.We have a couple of young scientists who have joined us and/or are planning to join us.An Indian fellow named (Fr) Richard D’Souza (SJ) has just published a paper in one of the big scientific journals, Nature Astronomy, on the evolution of galaxies, especially our neighbour galaxy Andromeda.It’s very exciting and I can’t possibly go into all the details, but it’s a whole new way of seeing how galaxies grow.He seems to have the evidence behind it and it’s a lot of fun on top of everything else.We have a young scientist, the fellow who took over the meteorite lab from me, Br Bob Macke, who is now one of the scientists on a NASA mission to go to an asteroid by Jupiter and measure a kind of asteroid we never went to before.So, that’s kind of exciting.He, himself, is not going.The spacecraft is going, but he is part of the scientific team that will plan the experiments they do and interpret the results.That’s an opportunity that I don’t think we’d ever had on a spacecraft mission before.We’ve got a group of scientists, two of them now working with a team in Germany.It’s really funny.We have a telescope in Arizona and nearby is one of the largest telescopes in the world, a large binocular telescope.A German group has built an enormous spectrometer that sits in the basement of the big telescope to use the light from the big telescope.But lots of other people want to use the big telescope.What are they going to do with their big instrument (spectrometer)? They (German group) have run an optic fibre cable from our telescope to their instrument.That means that our modest little two metre telescope has one of the best spectrometers in the world and it’s being used now to characterise planets surrounding their stars.This (characterising planets) is a project that has been in development for a couple of years and it’s now . . . underway big time.These are just three things off the top of my head that I find exciting with people I’m working with.NZC: What do you pray when you look up in the sky?Br Guy : Nobody’s ever asked it that way before.That’s a wonderful question.I have to say [that] my prayer to God is always to help me open myself up, to be ever more aware of what is there and what is here.To have, not only in my brain, but in my heart, that sense that I’m on this lovely planet, (not only just when I’m thinking about it, but all the time. . . even when I’m not thinking about it) in this lovely planet around this lovely sun and this wonderful collection of stars.I pray to be open to experience that beauty and the joy that is the presence of God.And I pray that the neighbour down the street will turn off his lights so I can do that. echo $variable; . The post Br Guy and the sky – the ways of the Vatican star man appeared first on NZ Catholic Newspaper .'
New Zealand's former top military attache to the United States has been sentenced to home detention after being found guilty of planting a hidden bathroom camera at the Kiwi embassy in Washington DC for ..
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Not long after the start of an address at the University of Auckland, the director of the Vatican Observatory, Br Guy Consolmagno, SJ, talked about “family” relationships — all in the context of nature.Br Guy cited G.K.
'Not long after the start of an address at the University of Auckland, the director of the Vatican Observatory, Br Guy Consolmagno, SJ, talked about “family” relationships — all in the context of nature.Br Guy cited G.K.Chesterton, who, in his work Orthodoxy, wrote: “The essence of all pantheism . . . is that nature is our mother.The main point of Christianity is this: Nature is not our mother, nature is our sister. . . .” And the Jesuit brother told his Auckland audience, which filled the Maclaurin Chapel to overflowing on May 1, that to “St Francis [of Assisi], nature is a sister, and even a younger sister, a little, dancing sister to be laughed at, as well as loved”. “If nature is our sister, we are both creatures of the same father; then that means you would never abuse your little sister, you would never try to dominate your little sister, but neither would you be so in awe and so in fear that you couldn’t appreciate and play with your little sister,” he said.Br Guy, who was speaking in several New Zealand centres in April and May, said that all the amazing images of planets, nebulae and other astronomical phenomena, which he had shown his audience, depict aspects of “our family of creation”. He explained that he had started his talk with such depictions “to give you an emotional sense of how we are tied to a universe, under a common Father, a common Creator”. “Now you may be surprised to hear a scientist talk about this emotional [thing]. But I think it’s important to remember — it is this love, love of nature, love of truth, love of the equations, that makes us want to be scientists.” Self-Reflective Br Guy had started by expressing his wonder that, “in one sense it is amazing that we as human beings, part of this universe, we are the part of the universe that allows the universe to be self-reflective, where the universe can think about itself”. But, in that thinking, do we limit both universe and Creator?He spent much of his talk, titled “Our God is too small”, exploring ways in which cultures, modern and ancient, have thought about nature and the Creator, sometimes limiting both.He did this within a framework involving three fundamental axioms upon which, he argued, science is based.These are: • There is a real universe (it is not just a dream). • It follows laws (it is not chaos). • It is worth the effort to know these laws.Every logical system has to start with assumptions, Br Guy said. “And in order to do the logical system we call science, you have to have at least these three axioms, which I claim are religious.” He spoke of cultures which thought all natural phenomena were attributable to the actions of spirits or gods.He also explored the development of a “laws-based” approach to science, citing such figures as Aristotle, St Albert the Great and Roger Bacon, leading up to Isaac Newton.Atheism But Br Guy also mentioned the development of the idea of “the God of the Gaps”, where God was the explanation for phenomena that had left the science of the time baffled.This idea eventually developed into the idea that there was no God.Br Guy cited Jesuit philosopher Michael Buckley: “The idea that there is no God came from people thinking that they could use science to prove God, and then when the gaps were closed, they discovered that the God they thought they had proved was unnecessary.But the God they were disproving is not the God of Scripture, it wasn’t the God they started with.” Br Guy then moved on to the contributions of Albert Einstein and Fr Georges Lemaitre, the Belgian priest and mathematician who first posited what is now labelled the “Big Bang” theory of the cosmos, which Br Guy called “the best way we have of describing how the universe evolves”. However, the Jesuit pointed out, there is “still this idea that the universe is starting at a Big Bang and that proves that at least there must have been a God that started things out”. This is “carried on even by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, who wrote a book a few years ago saying ‘I have got a new explanation for why the universe begins, why the Big Bang happened’”. “[Hawking] says . . . the fabric of space and time that Einstein talks about has quantum fluctuations — the warping of space and time is what we call gravity, but gravity is not perfect, there are quantum fluctuations, and because there is a thing called gravity, he says, I can explain how one quantum fluctuation by accident happens to be big enough to start the Big Bang; therefore I don’t need God.” “Now, logically, he is missing a point here,” Br Guy continued. “If [Hawking’s] definition of God is — the thing that started the Big Bang, and then he says gravity is the thing that started the Big Bang, he is not saying that there is no God, he is saying that God is gravity.” “God has suddenly become a force alongside all the other forces and maybe even a force we don’t need if gravity will do it.It is not the God of Scripture.” Quantum But the God in which Br Guy believes, as pointed to in Scripture’s creation stories, is before space and time and outside of space and time — which means God is not a “nature God”, but is “super-natural”. “And that means that creation is not something that only happened 13.8 billion years ago, but it happens at every time, at every place.And if Stephen Hawking is right about the quantum fluctuations in space-time, God is responsible for the fact that there is space-time, and laws that allow it to fluctuate ‘quantumly’, and this creation occurs everywhere, at every time,” Br Guy said. “Hawking does us an important favour in getting rid of this idea that God is this thing that starts the universe. “To be an atheist, you know, you have to have a really clear idea of the God it is you don’t believe in.Otherwise, how do you know you don’t believe in him?The God that he [Hawking] doesn’t believe in, I don’t believe in either. “But what I do believe in, not as the end of my logical reasoning, but as one of the assumptions, I believe that the universe is made by a supernatural God outside of the universe, and I believe that I can identify — the principle of equivalence, just as we do in physics — I can identify that creator God with also the God I experience in prayer, the God whom I see in salvation history, the God who was so powerful that, when he decided to enter into his own creation, he didn’t have to do it on a cloud of glory. . . but could do it as a little baby, born in an obscure part of a country halfway between Europe and Asia. “And the advantage of making this assumption is that it is consistent with all the science that I know, just as my atheist friends’ assumptions that there is no God could be made consistent with all the science that we know, but [the assumption] also explains something that is remarkable.” Br Guy showed an image of a galaxy warped after interaction with another such body.He said he can explain all the complexities depicted in the image with “beautifully logical laws of nature . . . “ “And so can my atheist friends.But what they cannot explain is why is it also so beautiful?Why is the universe beautiful?Why is it when I go out and look at the stars that I am filled with joy?That’s the thing that my assumption can explain that theirs can’t.” [thing] echo $variable; . The post A ‘God’ who is too small is a big problem appeared first on NZ Catholic Newspaper .'
How do you convince hundreds of Year 13 students from Catholic schools that faith and science are not opposed to each other?You get the director of the Vatican Observatory, Br Guy Consolmago, SJ, to address them and then to answer their questions.
'How do you convince hundreds of Year 13 students from Catholic schools that faith and science are not opposed to each other?You get the director of the Vatican Observatory, Br Guy Consolmago, SJ, to address them and then to answer their questions.With a mix of humour (mostly self-deprecating — with nerdy pictures of himself at various points in his scientific career), social commentary, faith reflection and stunning graphics of astronomical phenomena, Br Guy spoke to year 13 students from Auckland diocese’s Catholic colleges at Sancta Maria College in Flat Bush on May 3.Br Guy admitted later that some of his cultural references to Star Trek and the movie Animal House might have been a bit lost on his millennial audience.But he seemed to carry the day, eliciting laughter and cheers for things like showing Pope Francis visiting the observatory and saying the Pontiff has a chemistry degree and was dressed in a “lab coat” (the white cassock). He commiserated with the students about having to do basic science to get “the answers in the back of the book” right.But there is a lot more to science than that.Br Guy joked that he didn’t know any scientist who rigidly stuck to the so-called scientific method of observation, hypothesis formation and experimentation. “What really happens is that the scientist gets a new hammer, starts banging things until they break, looks at all the pieces and goes — what was that all about, and how does it fit back together?If this was the answer, what was the problem?And, by the way, if I can come up with a paper, I can go to that meeting in Hawaii next week. “But what I really want to say is . . . the hypothesis comes from your imagination.And probably you can think of not one hypothesis, but half a dozen.And you only have . . . enough time in your life and enough money in your budget to test one or maybe two of them.How do you choose which ones you are going to spend the next few years on?How do you know when you have got an answer that’s good enough to publish? “All of these decisions are . . . not on the basis of cold reason.They are made on the basis of your imagination, your experience, your hunches, your sense of — ‘I think I know how the universe works’.” He quoted mathematician John van Neumann: “You never understand mathematics, you just get used to it.” “I think that is true of science in general,” Br Guy said. “You never understand the physical universe, you just get used to it.That’s why they make you do all those problems in books — [it’s] part of getting used to it.” But religion, he stressed, “in itself, is not a big book of facts.Religion has to be more than just following a bunch of rules”. “So if you think science is a big book of facts, and religion is a big book of facts, and what happens if the facts in this book don’t fit the facts in that book, I have got to throw them away, that doesn’t understand religion, and doesn’t make you understand what science is. “Religion is not about blind faith.It is not about closing your eyes to the universe.” Br Guy stressed the similarities between science and religion, saying both are “a combination of the heart and the soul”. The importance for science and for faith of having a community was stressed. “Science and religion are communities of people on the road together exploring things . . . .” Br Guy related this to the students, using the choice of careers they might study for as an example. (He had them roaring with laughter describing his antics from his own student days and how he went from a student wanting to be a writer or lawyer, to studying to be a scientist). This career exploration is “on the basis of what I want to do and my desires, what my community is supporting me to do and how my brain allows me to learn to do what I want to do”. “Why do science then?” he asked in conclusion.He showed a photo of himself in a teeshirt with Maxwell’s Equations printed on the front.The equations are the starting point for understanding a range of phenomena from electricity to the nature of light and even Einstein’s theory of general relativity, he said. “These equations explain the light that comes to your eye from a sunset, but they don’t explain why the sunset is beautiful. “And yet, I would say, those equations are just as beautiful as the sunset.You get a sense of joy from the knowledge, the way you get a sense of joy from the beauty, the way you get a sense of joy from a baby or when walking down the street and suddenly feeling God is next to you. “In all of these experiences, you get the joy and that joy is the presence of God.” “Why does the Church want us to do science?Because science is a way that we come to that sense of joy.” “As St Paul says in his letter to the Romans,” Br Guy concluded, “God reveals himself in the things he has made — and that is why we are scientists.” Where are the star-gazing women In a Q&A session following Br Guy’s talk, he fielded a question from a female student on the lack of women in his presentation and at the Vatican Observatory.He was asked if there are religious women who could work where he does.Br Guy explained the history of a pope handing over responsibility for the observatory to the Jesuit order, which is all-male. “We do have a higher proportion of people of colour than do most observatories, but we don’t have any women,” Br Guy said. “I am the director and I know that and I know there’s something wrong with that,” he said. “So what we also have is a group of people called adjunct scholars who are astronomers at other institutions and they can be lay people . . . and some of them are women, and they have the same right to declare themselves as members of the observatory and they have the right to use the facilities we have — our telescope, our libraries, our laboratories.The only thing they don’t do is live in the same communities as us. “So that’s how we are trying to address that issue.The world of science has changed, and it is continuing to change, and it needs to continue to change more.” “When I was in graduate school,” Br Guy continued, “I was in a department of 10 graduate students, one of whom was a woman . . . two of whom were not white, Anglo-Saxon males.That’s not the case anymore.The field is half women.But it is still overwhelmingly white — and that’s not right.” He stressed the importance of encouraging people who want to be scientists to pursue their dreams.Br Guy also took questions on suffering, free will, the complexity of science, creation, forgiveness and the relationship between science and religion. echo $variable; . The post Br Guy within the orbit of Catholic teens appeared first on NZ Catholic Newspaper .'