Author Kitty Ferguson will present a lecture at Randolph-Macon College on May 5,
2011. Ferguson will present “Mind of God or Grand Design: Stephen Hawking and the
Science-Religion Debate.” The lecture, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Topping
Room (212) of Old Chapel, is free and open to the public.
This will be Ferguson’s second visit to the campus—again in conjunction with the
First-Year Experience course, “In God’s Good Time.”
The course, taught by Professors George Spagna (physics)
and Maria Scott (English), ponders the possibility of “conversation” between science
and theology through the disciplines of physics and literature. Through readings,
discussions and writing exercises, students explore the ethical considerations and
pitfalls involved in human endeavors to measure, represent and manipulate time.
“We’re using Kitty’s The Fire in the Equations in our course, and it’s
a great privilege for our students to meet and interact with the author,” says Spagna.
“I know from her previous visit to R-MC that our students will get a great deal
out of the experience. Since that visit, Kitty and I have become good friends—she
actually sponsored me for membership in the Guild of Scholars of the Episcopal Church—and
I look forward to seeing her again. She will also be meeting with our senior physics
majors to share some of her insights on Stephen Hawking, and she will be giving
a Mathematics Colloquium on Pythagoras: Everything is Numbers on Friday, May 6.”
Ferguson’s formal training was in music and she was for many years a professional
musician. During a sojourn in 1986-87 in Cambridge, England, she became acquainted
with Stephen Hawking.
Her books, which have been translated into many languages, include Black Holes in
Spacetime; the best-seller Stephen Hawking: Quest for a Theory of Everything;
The Fire in the Equations: Science, Religion, and the Search for God; Prisons
of Light: Black Holes; Measuring the Universe; Tycho and Kepler: The
Unlikely Partnership that Changed Our Understanding of the Heavens,
and The Music of Pythagoras. Ferguson is currently working on a new biography
of Stephen Hawking, which she is writing with his approval and help. It will be
published in fall 2011 in anticipation of his 70th birthday in January 2012.
Ferguson has written for Astronomy Magazine, The Anglican, The
Living Church, and TIME magazine’s Time for Kids. She
has also contributed a chapter to Russell Stannard’s God for the Twenty-First Century,
and served as primary consultant for Stephen Hawking’s The Universe in a Nutshell.
For more information, contact Professor George Spagna at (804) 752-7344.