SSQ People

Please note: these bios date from the time of the SSQ program. In the time since the program, some of the participants have moved institutions and some have passed away.

Science and the Spiritual Quest Investigators

Philip Clayton
Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University
Principal Investigator, Science and the Spiritual Quest

Philip Clayton holds a Ph.D. in both Philosophy of Science and Religious Studies from Yale University. He has taught at Haverford and Williams Colleges, at the California State University, at the University of Munich (holding Humboldt and Fulbright Professorships), at Harvard Divinity School, and is currently Ingraham Chair at the Claremont School of Theology and Professor of Philosophy at the Claremont Graduate University. Clayton is author of The Problem of God in Modern Thought; God and Contemporary Science; and Explanation from Physics to Theology: An Essay in Rationality and Religion, along with a number of edited volumes, including, Quantum Mechanics: The Problem of Divine Action, Evolutionary Ethics: Human Morality in Biological and Religious Perspective, In Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being: Panentheism and Science, and Science and the Spiritual Quest. He has published some 50 articles in the philosophy of science, metaphysics and theology. He won the Templeton Prize for Outstanding Books in Science and Religion and the first annual Templeton Grant for Research and Writing on the Constructive Interaction of the Sciences and Religion. From 1999-2003, Dr. Clayton served as Principal Investigator of the Science and the Spiritual Quest program at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences.

W. Mark Richardson
General Theological Seminary
Co-Investigator, Science and the Spiritual Quest

The Rev. Dr. W. Mark Richardson is Professor of Theology at the General Theological Seminary in New York, and a priest in the Episcopal Church. Richardson is the co-editor of Religion and Science: History, Method and Dialogue, a book described by the London Times as "a must for serious students," and which also won a 1996 Templeton Book Prize. He is also editor of Human and Divine Agency. Richardson conceived and directed the original Science and Spiritual Quest project, which culminated in a national conference at the University of California, Berkeley in 1998 that received international attention.

Jim Schaal
Program Director, Science and the Spiritual Quest
Jim Schaal served as Program Director of Science and the Spiritual Quest, a program of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in Berkeley, California. He worked closely with the academic leaders of the SSQ program on strategic planning and conceptual design, developed content for communications and media productions, and managed the staff, finances, and infrastructure of the program. Jim studied liberal arts and taught mathematics at De

ep Springs College and earned a dual baccalaureate degree in physics and philosophy from the University of California at Davis, where he specialized in quantum optics, formal logic, and philosophy of science. Upon graduation he gained several years' experience in information systems management, training, and marketing in the financial services industry; he has also written narration scripts for two award-winning wildlife documentaries. Before joining SSQ in 1999, Jim served for three years as Development Director and Community Organizer for Peninsula Interfaith Action, where he raised funds, managed public relations, and trained local congregations of diverse faiths to address community issues such as public education enrichment and affordable housing.

SSQ Scientists (SSQI and SSQII Combined)

Physical Scientists

Physics and Cosmology

Nabila Aghanim, Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale
John Barrow, University of Cambridge
Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Department of Physics, The Open University
Khalil Chamcham, L’Université Hassan II Aïn Chock de Casablanca
Geoffrey Chew, Physics Department, University of California, Berkeley
Raymond Chiao, University of California, Berkeley
Ramanath Cowsik, Indian Institute of Astrophysics
Pranab Das, Elon College
Paul Davies, Macquarie University
Bernard d'Espagnat, Université de Paris XI
Michael Dine, Physics Department, University of California at Santa Cruz
Cyril Domb, Physics Department, Bar Ilan University
Tim Eastman, Institute for Physics and Technology, University of Maryland
Shmuel Elitzur, Racah Institute of Physics, Hebrew University
George Ellis, Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Capetown
Francis Everitt, Stanford University
Sandra Faber, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California at Santa Cruz
Mehdi Golshani, Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies
Brian Greene, Columbia University
Serguei Grib, Central Astronomy Observatory, St. Petersburg
Robert Griffiths, Department of Physics, Carnegie Mellon University
Bruno Guiderdoni, Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris
Edward R. Harrison, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Massachusetts
Muzaffar Iqbal, Pakistan Academy of Sciences
Ashok Jain, University of Roorkee
Vladimir Katasonov, Russian Academy of Science
Don Lichtenberg, Physics Department, Indiana University
Andrei Linde, Physics Department, Stanford University
Thierry Magnin, Ecoles des Mines de Saint Etienne
Tsevi Mazeh, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Tel Aviv University
Charles Misner, Physics Department, University of Maryland
Basarab Nicolescu, Universite de ParisVI and Le Centre International de Recherches et Etudes Transdisciplinaires (CIRET)
Aileen O'Donoghue, St. Lawrence University
Andrzej Pacholczyk, University of Arizona
Massimo Pauri, Università degli Studi di Parma
William Phillips, University of Maryland and National Institute of Standards & Technology, Nobel Laureate
John Polkinghorne, Emeritus, Queens College
Joel Primack, Physics Department, University of California at Santa Cruz
Eliezer Rabinovici, Racah Institute of Physics, Hebrew University
Rustum Roy, Materials Research Lab, Pennsylvania State University
Marlan Scully, Texas A&M University
Qaisar Shafi, Sharp Lab, University of Delaware
William Stoeger, Vatican Observatory Research Group, University of Arizona
E.C. George Sudarshan, University of Texas
John Suppe, Department of Physics, Princeton University
Trinh Thuan, University of Virginia
Charles Townes, Physics Department, University of California at Berkeley
Alexander Vilenkin, Physics Department, Tufts University


Emiliano Aguirre, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales
Yuri Altukhov, Institute of General Genetics
Shahid Athar, Endocrinology Institute
Francisco Ayala, University of California at Irvine
Yechiel Becker, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
R. J. Berry, University College London
Camilo-Jose Cela-Conde, Universidad de Las Islas Baleares
Anne Dambricourt Malasse, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle
Frans de Waal, Emory University
Terrence Deacon, Boston University
Michael Denton, University of Otago
Frans de Waal, Emory University
Raymond Dwek, Glycobiology Institute, University of Oxford
Lindon Eaves, Department of Human Genetics, Medical College of Virginia
Thomas C. Emmel, Department of Zoology, University of Florida
Carl Feit, Biology Department, Yeshiva University
Ursula Goodenough, Washington University
Martinez Hewlett, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Arizona
Mae-Wan Ho, The Open University (Retired)
Kenneth Kendler, Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University
Shaikh Abdul Mabud, The Islamic Academy
Harold Morowitz, George Mason University
Randolph Nesse, University of Michigan
Thomas Odhiambo, African Academy of Sciences
Ayub Ommaya, George Washington University Medical Center
Arthur Peacocke, Exeter College
John Rodwell, Institute of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Lancaster
Harry Rubin, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California at Berkeley
Pauline Rudd, Glycobiology Institute, University of Oxford
Michael Ruse, Department of Philosophy, University of Guelph
Satoto, UNDIP and Universitas Diponegoro
Lothar Schafer, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Barbara Smuts, University of Michigan
Ming Tsuang, Harvard Institute of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Genetics
Mysore Viswamitra, Indian Institute of Science

Sciences of the Human Person

Allan Basbaum, University of California, San Francisco
Marc Bekoff, University of Colorado
Jane Goodall, Jane Goodall Institute
William Hurlbut, Stanford University
Piet Hut, Institute for Advanced Study
Stephen Kosslyn, Harvard University
Benjamin Libet, University of California, San Francisco
Michael Merzenich, University of California, San Francisco
William Newsome, Stanford University
Olivera Petrovich, University of Oxford
Robert Pollack, Columbia University
Alejandra Siffredi, Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA)
Henry Stapp, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Paula Tallal, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Francisco Varela, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Faraneh Vargha-Khadem, University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children

Computer Science and Information Technology

Michael Arbib, Brain Project, University of Southern California
Donna Auguste, Freshwater Software Inc.
Hendrik Barendregt, Nijmegen University
Praveen Chaudhari, T.J. Watson Research Center, IBM
Char Davies, Softimage
Susan Dray, Dray & Associates
Philip Emeagwali, Independent Consultant
Anne Foerst, Artificial Intelligence Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Noreen Herzfeld, St. John's University
Kevin Kelly, Wired Magazine
Brenda Laurel, Art Center College of Design
Mitch Marcus, Computer and Information Science Dept., University of Pennsylvania
Carl Mitcham, Science, Technology & Society Program, Pennsylvania State University
Bonnie Nardi, AT& T Research
Yoshio Oyanagi, University of Tokyo
Pierre Perrier, French Academy of Sciences
Mark Pesce, Blitcom Corporation
Azriel Rosenfeld, University of Maryland
Bob Shoulders, Agilent Technologies
Brian Cantwell Smith, Department of Computer Science, Indiana University
Henry Thompson, Human Communication Research Center, University of Edinburgh
Jacques Vauthier, Université Pierre et Marie Curie
Manuela Veloso, Carnegie Mellon University
Mark Weiser, Xerox PARC

Collaborating Speakers

Imad Ad Din Ahmed, John Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies
Munawar Anees, Interdisciplinary University of Paris
Werner Arber, University of Basel
N. Balakrishnan, Indian Institute of Science
Anindita N. Balslev, International Society for Science and Religion
Ian Barbour, Carleton College
Gaymon Bennett, Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences
M.L. Bhaumik, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
D. P. Chattopadhyaya, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies
Christian de Duve, Catholic University of Louvain, Rockfeller University in New York
Noah Efron, Bar Ilan University
Abdou Filali-Ansari, Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC)
Syuji Hashimoto, Waseda University School of Science and Engineering
Devaki Jain, Centre for Advanced Studies at the Delhi School of Economics
D. R. Kaarthikeyan
R. L. Kapur, National Institute of Advanced Studies
Fumihiko Katayama, Hanazono Shrine
Idriss Khalil, Mohammed V University
Donald Knuth, Stanford University
Jean Kovalevsky, International Committee of Weights and Measures
Michael Krasny , Host, Forum, KQED 88.5FM
N. Kumar, Raman Research Institute
Wajih Maazouzi, University Hospital in Rabat (Morocco)
Rajiv Malhotra, The Infinity Foundation
Katsukiyo Marukawa, Center for Advanced Science and Technology, Osaka University
Sangeetha Menon, National Institute of Advanced Studies
Kenneth Miller, Brown University
P. K. Mukhopadhyay, Jadavpur University, Calcutta
V. Nanjundiah, National Institute of Advanced Studies
M.G. Narasimhan, National Institute of Advanced Studies
Andrew Newberg, University of Pennsylvania
Ted Peters, Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences
Joseph Prabhu, California State University, Los Angeles
P. Rama Rao, Indian National Academy of Engineering
S. K. Ramachandra Rao
K. Ramakrishna Rao, Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man
Hubert Reeves, National Center for Scientific Research
Norbert Samuelson, Arizona State University
Swami Bodhananda Sarasvati
Sundar Sarukkai, NIAS
Albert Sasson, Rabbat Faculty of Sciences (University Mohamed V)
Humitaka Sato, Konan University
Tetsuya Sato, Japan Marine Science and Technology Center (JAMSTEC)
S. Settar, Indian Council of Historical Research
H. N. Shankar, PES Institute of Technology in Bangalore
Anindya Sinha, NIAS
René Samuel Sirat, Central Consistory of France
B. V. Sreekantan, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Sharada Srinivasan
Jean Staune, Interdisciplinary University of Paris
M. S. Swaminathan, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
Ahmed Toufiq, King Abdul-Aziz Al Saoud Foundation for Islamic Studies and Human Sciences in Casablanca
C. S. Unnikrishnan, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai)
M. S. Valiathan, Indian National Science Academy
P. G. Vaidya
K. VijayRaghavan, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Graham Walker, Royal Academy of Physicians, London
Sukeyasu Steven Yamamoto, The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN)
Shohei Yonemoto, Mitsubishi Kasei Institute of Life Science
Ahmed Hassan Zewail, California Institute of Technology

Voices from SSQ

“In the troubled times in which we are living, these international exchanges among scientists who also belong to different religions offer a new and original path that may help humanity avoid a ‘clash of civilizations.’”

—Philip Clayton, Ingraham Chair at the Claremont School of Theology and Professor of Philosophy at the Claremont Graduate University

“Scientists can help us to see the unity that underlies all Truth. By their very nature, both science and belief in God must be forces for wholeness and not for fragmentation.”

—Abd-al-Haqq Bruno Guiderdoni, Director of Research, Paris Institute of Astrophysics and Director, Islamic Institute for Advanced Studies

“Science and spirituality have similar goals, methodologies, universality, and, in their practice, evoke many of the same feelings. In the final stage of spiritual growth, when an individual realizes his (her) Self, the distinction between doing science and being spiritual disappears.”

—Praveen Chaudhari, Director, Brookhaven National Laboratory

“Science and spirituality provide us with complementary perspectives on truth— unbiased and universal.”

—Ramanath Cowsik, Director, Indian Institute of Astrophysics and Head of Gravitation Group at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

“If both science and theology are to continue to support our deepest hopes and aspirations nothing can be thought of as the final word on a subject, but only seen as a platform of consolidated ideas from which to step further into the unknown.”

—Pauline Rudd, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Glycobiology, Oxford University

“Science is taken for granted by many people, including scientists, yet our ability to understand nature at a deep conceptual level is an astonishing and a priori unexpected phenomenon. The early scientists believed that the rational order in the cosmos, as manifested in the hidden mathematical laws that underlie all physical processes, was a result of design, and that in doing their science they were glimpsing the mind of God.”

—Paul Davies, Professor of Natural Philosophy in Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University, winner of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, 1995

“Science and Religion are often viewed as separate aspects of our beliefs and understanding. But religion is an attempt to understand the purpose of our universe and science an attempt to understand its nature and characteristics, so the two are necessarily related.”

—Charles Townes, Nobel Laureate in Physics for co-discovery of the laser and maser and Professor Emeritus of Physics at University of California at Berkeley

“Most of us in the Science and the Spiritual Quest project have focused on ways that our scientific understandings have informed and enlarged our spiritual quest, speaking in both theistic and nontheistic language. There exists as well, of course, a second overlapping quest that is central to every religious tradition: the quest for moral and ethical structure and guidance. We seek ideals and values. We want to understand how best to be good. We want to participate in flourishing communities. We want to know what to say to our children.”

—Ursula Goodenough, Professor of Biology at Washington University

“The conception of reality by Buddhism has certain resonance in the theories of modern physics such as quantum mechanics and Relativity. Although the methods used to investigate reality by science and Buddhism are radically different, their respective ways to consider the world has not led to an irreducible opposition, but on the contrary, on an harmonious complementarity.”

—Trinh Thuan, Astrophysicist and Professor of Astronomy at the University of Virginia

“Religion and science are two sides of a coin. While science allows us some control over the environment, religion gives a way to explore how we should use our knowledge. Genetics tells us that each of us is unique, religion provides a way of exploring our uniqueness and discovering how we might make our particular contribution to the world.”

—Pauline Rudd, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Glycobiology, Oxford University

“Scientific training and practice, intimate knowledge of the arts and aesthetic discipline, or long and intimate knowledge of the sacred writings: these are aids to access the higher realm of experience.”

—E. C. George Sudarshan, Professor of Physics at University of Texas

“I am a practicing scientist and a practicing Christian—occupations that are antithetical in the minds of many. In common caricature, the practice of science is portrayed as rigorous, objective, comprehensive and intellectual in contrast to religious practice which is frequently perceived as superstitious, parochial, and weak-minded. While I certainly experience tension at times between my life in science and my life in faith, my overwhelming experience is that both science and faith contribute critically to a meaningful, fully-lived human life. Giving up either would result in a regrettable loss of understanding, depth of experience, and simple joy in my life.”

—William T. Newsome, Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Professor of Neurobiology at Stanford University

“Ask any scientist what lies at the core of her work, you will learn that it is not the experimental test of the hypothesis—although that is where most of the time and money of science go. It is the idea, the mechanism, the insight that justifies all the rest of the work of science. The moment of insight that reveals the new idea, where an instant before there was just fog, is the moment when the unknown first retreats before the creativity of the scientist. Here, then, is the first door into the unknowable: where does scientific insight come from? Surely from someplace currently unknown. Let us consider the possibility that scientific insight, like religious revelation, comes from an intrinsically unknowable place.”

—Robert Elliot Pollack, Professor of Biological Sciences and Director, Center for the Study of Science and Religion at Columbia University

“These ideas are not easy, and they are certainly not uncontentious, but they represent something of the fruitfulness that I believe can come from a truth-seeking engagement between the insights of science and the insights of a faith tradition.”

—John Polkinghorne, former Professor of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge, Anglican priest and winner of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, 2000

“In general, Judaism takes a very supportive attitude toward scientific and technologic advancement. This derives from the view of the Rabbis that God created the universe, but left it in an incomplete state. The existence of disease, famine, wars and pestilence is reflective of the lack of perfection in the world. With the creation of humankind in the form of Adam and Eve, God created a partner, whom he has charged with the task of working to complete the creation, by finding the cure for disease, producing enough food for the hungry and establishing peace among nations, that all may reap the benefits of God’s plentiful bounty. ‘Be fruitful and multiply, fill the universe and achieve dominion over it’ is God’s challenge and endorsement of the boldest scientific and cultural undertakings. Nevertheless, all scientific activity, like the rest of human conduct, must also conform to the highest of God’s moral and ethical teachings.”

—Carl Feit, Joseph and Rachel Ades Chair in Health Sciences at Yeshiva University and Talmudic scholar

“For the founders of modern science, science was not at all a means of securing material benefits for mankind. Rather, it was in the contemplation of God’s handiwork that they found peace of mind. Heisenberg has put the matter elegantly: ‘For Kepler, science is not at all a means of producing material benefits for man, or of making possible a technology for better living in our imperfect world, and opening up the paths of progress. Quite the contrary, science is a means of elevating the mind, a way of finding peace, of solace in the contemplation of the eternal perfection of the creation.’”

—Mehdi Golshani, Distinguished Professor of Physics at Sharif University of Technology

“Is the possibility of science just our luck, a fortunate fact that we should simply take for granted? I do not think so. It is too remarkable a property of the universe to be left unexplained. And of course, the mystery is deeper than that, for it turns out that it is mathematics that is the key to unlock the secrets of the physical world. And not just any old mathematics, for we have found time and again in the history of physics that it is only equations endowed with that profound and unmistakable character of mathematical beauty that will actually prove to have the long-term fruitfulness that persuades us that they are trustworthy maps of physical reality.”

—John Polkinghorne, former Professor of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge, Anglican priest and winner of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, 2000

“People also criticize me, ‘How can you as theologian be in such a project? It is so hubris to do that. It is hubris to try to create ourselves.’ And I say, ‘No, because it's a spiritual journey.’ Every day we discover how beautiful we are because it's so damned difficult even to build a newborn baby. I mean, I don't think that my lab colleagues would necessarily call it spiritual. But, for me, that is a spiritual experience we have every day, and it's fundamentally important.”

—Anne Foerst, theological advisor in the Cog-group at the M.I.T. Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, research associate with the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at the Harvard Divinity School and directs the "God and Computers" Project at M.I.T.

“I found my participation in SSQ to be an exceptionally rewarding experience. Having a continuing dialog and fellowship with a group of physicists from widely different spiritual backgrounds was, for me, a special blessing. I found that our common bond as physicists easily bridged our differences as Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, etc. Sharing aspects of science/spiritual questions across such large cultural differences gave me not only a deeper appreciation of the universality of our experience, but helped me to examine more closely my own spiritual journey and to sharpen my thinking in the company of intelligent and sympathetic colleagues.”

—William Phillips, Researcher at National Institute of Standards & Technology and Professor of Physics at University of Maryland, Nobel Laureate in physics for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light

“SSQ has been an extraordinary program in its global outreach. Every conference has been simultaneously a dialogue between science and religion and a dialogue among major religious traditions. Because the participants respected each other as scientists they were open to eachother’s views without the defensiveness typically found in ecumenical conferences. Because these were such eminent and articulate scientists they communicated effectively to a wider public through symposia, media coverage, and subsequent publication. Building on the contacts formed in the past, a similar program could make a truly significant contribution in the future in moving beyond the interdisciplinary and inter-religious conflicts that have been so common in the past.”

—Ian G. Barbour, Winifred and Atherton Bean Professor (Emeritus) of Science, Technology, and Society at Carleton College and winner of Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion 1999