Trotter Prize & Endowed Lecture Series

Recipients | Committee | About the Trotters

The Trotter Prize in Information, Complexity and Inference is awarded annually for pioneering contributions to the understanding of the role of information, complexity and inference in illuminating the mechanisms and wonder of nature. The Trotter Lecture seeks to reveal connections between science and religion, often viewed in academia as non-overlapping, if not rival, worldviews.

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Recipients of the Trotter Prize are invited to deliver a lecture at Texas A&M University under the Trotter Prize Endowed Lecture Series and receive a cash award.

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Next Lecture


September 29, 2016
7 p.m.
Rudder Theater, Texas A&M University
College Station, TX


2015 Recipient(s)
Portrait of Dr. John Lennox

Dr. John Lennox

Professor of Mathematics, University of Oxford; Emeritus Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science, Green Templeton College

God, Science and the Nature of Explanation

Lennox, an expert at the interface of science, philosophy and religion, has participated in a number of televised debates with some of the world's leading atheist thinkers. A Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum, he regularly teaches within Oxford's Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division and as an associate fellow in the Said Business School. He is an adjunct lecturer at Oxford's Wycliffe Hall and at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. Lennox earned master's and doctoral degrees in mathematics at Cambridge University and holds master's and doctor of philosophy degrees from Oxford University, a master's in bioethics from the University of Surrey and an honorary doctorate from the University of Wales. He was a Senior Alexander Von Humboldt Fellow at the Universities of Wurzburg and Freiburg in Germany. Lennox has lectured extensively in North America, Eastern and Western Europe and Australia on mathematics, the philosophy of science and the intellectual defense of Christianity. He has written several books on the interface between science, philosophy and theology, including God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? (2009), God and Stephen Hawking (2011) in response to Hawking's The Grand Design, Gunning for God (2011) on the new atheism and Seven Days that Divide the World (2011) on the early chapters of Genesis. His latest book, Against the Flow (2015), looks at the lessons for today's society in the life of the biblical figure, Daniel. Lennox has published more than 70 peer-reviewed articles on mathematics and co-authored two algebra research texts in the Oxford Mathematical Monographs series.

Portrait of Dr. Timothy Spector

Dr. Timothy Spector

Professor of Genetic Epidemiology/Head, Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology/Director, TwinsUK Registry, Kings College London

What Twins Reveal About the Science of Faith

Spector, an expert in genetic epidemiology, is director of the world's largest twin registry. A Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences, he has been a faculty member at Kings College since 2006. Originally trained in rheumatology and epidemiology, he moved into genetic epidemiology in 1992, founding the TwinsUK Registry that includes 13,000 twins -- the richest collection of genotypic and phenotypic information worldwide. A National Institute for Health Research Senior Investigator, Spector previously held a prestigious European Research Council Senior Investigator Award in Epigenetics. During the past quarter century, Spector has demonstrated the genetic basis of a wide range of common complex traits -- many previously thought to be mainly due to aging and environment, not to mention impossible to analyze without his data collection. Through genetic association studies, Spector and his research group have found more than 500 novel gene loci in more than 50 disease areas. He has authored more than 800 peer-reviewed papers cited in excess of 80,000 times, ranking him among the top 1 percent of the world's most published scientists by Thomson-Reuters. Also a prolific writer, Spector has authored several popular books, including Identically Different: Why You Can Change Your Genes and The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat. He has a blog spanning genetics, epigenetics, microbiome and diet. In addition to TwinsUK, he directs the crowdfunded British Gut Project, where his current work focuses on omics and connections between genes, microbiomes, lifestyle choices and overall health.

2014 Recipient(s)
Portrait of Dr. James A. Shapiro

Dr. James A. Shapiro

Professor of Microbiology, University of Chicago

The Read-Write (RW) Genome: Taking Some of the Mystery Out of Evolution

Shapiro, an early expert in bacterial genetics and author of the 2011 book "Evolution: A View from the 21st Century," has been a faculty member at the University of Chicago since 1973. He holds a bachelor of arts in English literature from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in genetics from Cambridge University, where he was a Marshall Scholar. His thesis first suggested transposable elements in bacteria -- a hypothesis he confirmed in 1968 as a postdoc and Jane Coffin Childs fellow at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. In 1969, as an American Cancer Society fellow at Harvard Medical School, he used in vivo genetic manipulations to clone and purify the lac operon of E. coli. In 1979, Shapiro formulated the first precise molecular model for transposition and replication of phage Mu and other transposons. In 1984, he published the first case study of "adaptive mutation" after finding selection stress triggers a tremendous increase in the frequency of Mu-mediated coding sequence fusions. Since 1992, he has been writing about the importance of biologically regulated natural genetic engineering as a fundamental new concept in evolution science. Shapiro has been a visiting professor at the Institut Pasteur, Tel Aviv University, Cambridge, and the University of Edinburgh, where he was the Darwin Prize Visiting Professor in 1993. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Linnean Society of London. In 2001, he received an honorary O.B.E. from Queen Elizabeth for services to higher education in the UK and U.S.

Portrait of Dr. James M. Tour

Dr. James M. Tour

T.T. and W.F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, Rice University

The Impact of Faith Upon the Life of a Scientist

Tour, R&D magazine's 2013 Scientist of the Year and inventor of the world's first nanocar, joined the Rice University faculty in 1999, where he is a professor of chemistry, computer science, and mechanical engineering and materials science. He earned a bachelor of science in chemistry from Syracuse University and a Ph.D. in synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry from Purdue University. His organic synthesis-based research has produced nanotechnology to benefit many medical, energy, environmental, and defense-related areas. He has more than 500 research publications and 60 patents, with an H-index of 97 (85 by ISI Web of Science) and 46,000 total citations (Google Scholar). Listed among the "50 Most Influential Scientists in the World Today" (TheBestSchools.org), he is ranked as one of the world's Top 10 chemists for the past decade (Thomson Reuters). Tour's 2005 paper on nanocars was the most highly accessed journal article of all American Chemical Society (ACS) articles in 2005 and listed by LiveScience as the second most influential paper in all of science that year. An American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow, Tour's many career awards include the ACS's Nano Lectureship (2012), Arthur C. Cope Scholar (2008), and Southern Chemist of the Year (2005) Awards; the Houston Technology Center's Nanotechnology Award (2009); the Feynman Prize in Experimental Nanotechnology (2008), the NASA Space Act Award (2008); the Small Times magazine's Innovator of the Year Award (2006); the Nanotech Briefs Nano 50 Innovator Award (2006); and The Honda Innovation Award for Nanocars (2005).

2013 Recipient(s)
Portrait of Dr. Gerald Gabrielse

Dr. Gerald Gabrielse

Leverett Professor of Physics, Harvard University

God of Antimatter

Gabrielse is a no-nonsense experimental physicist known for launching low-energy antimatter science and for extremely sensitive probes of the properties and symmetries of antimatter and matter particles. A Harvard University faculty member since 1987, he is leader of the CERN-based ATRAP Collaboration, and his research group engages in a variety of atomic, optical, elementary particle, plasma and low-temperature physics experiments. Gabrielse also has been a visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics and the Ludwig Maximilian University in Germany (2007-08) and held various research and professorial positions at the University of Washington (1978-87) prior to coming to Harvard. He earned his master's degree (1975) and doctorate (1980) at the University of Chicago. A member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (2007) and a fellow of the American Physical Society (1992), Gabrielse has won Harvard's Levenson and Ledlie Prizes for exceptional teaching and research, respectively. He also has received the APS's Lilienfeld Prize and Davisson-Germer Prize as well as Italy's Tomassoni Prize and Germany's Humboldt Research Award. He is a past chair (2012) and chair (2011) of the APS Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics as well as a distinguished alumnus of Calvin College.

Portrait of Prof. Roald Hoffmann

Prof. Roald Hoffmann

Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters Emeritus, Cornell University

INDIGO: A Story of Craft, Religion, History, Science, and Culture

Hoffmann, a faculty member at Cornell University since 1965 and a co-recipient of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, studied chemistry at Columbia University and Harvard University, where he earned his doctorate in 1962. In addition to novel applied chemistry research, he is notable for his public outreach, which includes five published collections of poetry, three books, three plays, and many essays and presentations. Hoffmann is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He has been elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society, the Indian National Science Academy, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Nordrhein-Westfällische Academy of Sciences, and the Leopoldina. Beyond the Nobel Prize, he has received the National Science Board's Public Service Award (2009), the American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal (2006), the American Chemical Society (ACS) Priestley Medal (1990), and the National Medal of Science (1983). He is the only person in ACS history to merit awards in three different specific subfields of chemistry: the first Arthur C. Cope Award in Organic Chemistry (1973); the ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry (1982); and the ACS Pimentel Award in Chemical Education (1996). He holds more than 30 honorary degrees.

2012 Recipient(s)
Portrait of Dr. Hugh N. Ross

Dr. Hugh N. Ross

Founder and President, Reasons To Believe

Theistic Implications of Big Bang Cosmology

Ross is founder and president of Reasons To Believe (RTB), an organization devoted to the constructive integration of science and faith. His interest in science, specifically in astronomy, began in early childhood and developed through frequent trips to the library and use of a homemade telescope. At age 17 he became director of observations for the Royal Astronomical Society in Vancouver. While researching quasars and galaxies at the California Institute of Technology and serving on the pastoral staff of a nearby church, he also studied philosophy and religion, at which time he discovered an unexpected consistency between the words of the Bible and the facts of nature. He founded RTB in 1986 and, for more than 25 years, has monitored the frontiers of research and communicated a message he describes as the "thrilling news of what's being discovered and how it connects with biblical theology." An adjunct faculty member at A.W. Tozer Seminary and Southern Evangelical Seminary and the author of several books, including "Why the Universe Is the Way It Is," "Creator and the Cosmos" and "The Fingerprint of God," Ross also travels the world to speak on university campuses and in other global venues.

Portrait of Dr. Gerald L. Schroeder

Dr. Gerald L. Schroeder

Lecturer, The Aish HaTorah College of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, Israel

Genesis and the Big Bang

Schroeder is an MIT graduate with more than 30 years of research and teaching experience in a wide variety of unique and unusual areas, including nuclear disarmament. He moved to Israel in 1971 to join the prestigious Weizmann Institute of Science and later the Volcani Research Institute while maintaining a laboratory at The Hebrew University. His doctorate is in two fields, Earth science and physics, and he also has formal theological training in biblical, Talmudic and kabalistic interpretation. For the past 25 years, he has pursued a study of ancient biblical interpretation, specializing in nuances that are often missed when working with translations instead of original languages of which he has mastery. His related books -- including his second, "The Science of God," which was on the Barnes & Noble list of non-fiction best-sellers and was Amazon.com's best-selling book in the field of physics and cosmology for all of 1998 -- appear in 10 languages. He boasts more than 60 publications in the world's leading scientific journals, and the results of his work have been reported in "Time," "Newsweek" and "Scientific American" as well as newspapers from Boston to Adelaide.

2011 Recipient(s)
Portrait of Francisco J. Ayala

Francisco J. Ayala

University Professor and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine

Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion

Ayala is an evolutionary geneticist and molecular biologist who won the 2010 Templeton Prize. A former Dominican priest who was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2001, Ayala has championed faith as an important window for understanding the purpose and meaning of life while warning against the intrusion of religion into science. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences who has authored more than 1000 papers and 40 books, including 'Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion.' He was the principal author of ''Science, Evolution, and Creationism', a National Academy of Science publication refuting creationism and intelligent design. His most recent scientific achievements include demonstration that great apes serve as reservoirs for malaria causing parasites. He holds the title of University Professor, the highest rank in the California university system and is the only person at Irvine with that title.

Portrait of Dr. Henry F.  Schaefer III

Dr. Henry F. Schaefer III

Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Computational Chemistry at the University of Georgia

C.S. Lewis: Science and Scientism

Schaefer is one of the most distinguished physical scientists in the world. The U.S. News and World Report cover story of December 23, 1991 speculated that Professor Schaefer is a 'five time nominee for the Nobel Prize.' He has received four of the most prestigious awards of the American Chemical Society, as well as the most highly esteemed award (the Centenary Medal) given to a non-British subject by London's Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Moreover, his general interest lectures on science and religion have riveted large audiences in nearly all the major universities in the U.S.A. and in Beijing, Berlin, Budapest, Calcutta, Cape Town, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Paris, Prague, Sarajevo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sofia, St. Petersburg, Sydney, Tokyo, Warsaw, Zagreb, and Zurich. For 18 years Dr. Schaefer was a faculty member at the University of California at Berkeley, where he remains Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus. Since 1987 Dr. Schaefer has been Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Computational Chemistry at the University of Georgia.

2010 Recipient(s)
Portrait of Prof. Francis Everitt

Prof. Francis Everitt

Research Professor W.W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory, Stanford University

Mystery in Science, Reason in Religion: How the Two Intersect and Overlap

Everitt, an expert in both space research and physics history, is principal investigator of the Gravity Probe B (GP-B) experiment, a collaboration between Stanford, NASA, and Lockheed Martin Corporation that is testing predictions of Albert Einstein's 1916 theory of gravitation using four ultra-precise gyroscopes that have been orbiting the Earth in a satellite since 2004. He obtained his doctorate at the University of London (Imperial College) in 1959 for research under Nobel laureate P.M.S. Blackett, then spent two years at the University of Pennsylvania working on liquid helium before joining the Stanford faculty in 1962. His efforts have advanced the state-of-the-art in the areas of cryogenics, magnetics, quantum devices, telescope design, control systems, quartz fabrication techniques, metrology, and, most of all, gyroscope technology. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2006, Everitt has been a member of numerous national and international committees, including the International Academy of Astronautics Committee on Relativity, the NASA Management Operations Working Group in Shuttle Astronomy, and the NASA Astrophysics Council. His many awards include the Tyndall Prize in Experimental Physics, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the 1997 Marcel Grossmann Award, and the 2005 NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal.

Portrait of Sir Roger Penrose

Sir Roger Penrose

Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics, University of Oxford Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics, University of Oxford Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics, University of Oxford

Did the Universe Have a Beginning?

Penrose originated twistor theory, which seeks to unite Einstein's general theory of relativity with quantum mechanics, and has made major contributions to many areas of physics and geometry, including non-periodic tilings, which cannot be shifted and still match the original pattern. He earned his bachelor of science in mathematics at University College, London, in 1952 and his doctorate in algebraic geometry at St John's College, Cambridge, in 1957. He is a visiting professor at Queen Mary, University of London, and holds the Francis and Helen Pentz Distinguished Professorship of Physics and Mathematics at Penn State University. Penrose was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1972, knighted in 1994 for services to science, and appointed to the Order of Merit in 2000. A foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences, his many awards include the 1971 Heinemann Prize, the Royal Astronomical Society's 1975 Eddington Medal, the Royal Society's 1985 Royal Medal and 2008 Copley Medal, the 1988 Wolf Foundation Prize for Physics (shared with Stephen Hawking), the Albert Einstein Society's 1990 Albert Einstein Medal, and the London Mathematical Society's 1991 Naylor Prize and 2004 de Morgan Medal. He holds 14 honorary degrees and has written several books, including 1990 Science Book Prize winner "The Emperor's New Mind."

2009 Recipient(s)
Portrait of Dr. Owen Gingerich

Dr. Owen Gingerich

Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and History of Science, Harvard University

Mystery in Science, Reason in Religion: How the Two Intersect and Overlap

Owen Gingerich, former chair of Harvard's History of Science Department and a co-author of two successive standard models for the solar atmosphere, has become a leading authority on legendary astronomers Johannes Kepler and Nicholas Copernicus during the past three decades. In addition to nearly 600 technical and educational articles and reviews, he has written popular astronomy pieces in several encyclopedias and journals. Two anthologies of Gingerich's essays, "The Great Copernicus Chase and Other Adventures in Astronomical History" and "The Eye of Heaven: Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler," have appeared from Cambridge University Press. Most recently he has published "God's Universe," the William Belden Nobel Lectures at Harvard, in 2005. Gingerich has served as vice president of the American Philosophical Society, as chairman of the U.S. National Committee of the International Astronomical Union and as councilor of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). His many awards include the AAS's Education (2004) and Doggett Prizes (2000), the Harvard-Radcliffe Phi Beta Kappa Prize for Excellence in Teaching (1984) and the Polish government's Order of Merit (1981). A world traveler, Gingerich has observed 12 total solar eclipses and has an asteroid named in his honor.

Portrait of Dr. Charles  Townes

Dr. Charles Townes

1964 Nobel Prize Winner in Physics

The Parallellism and Likely Eventual Convergence of Science and Religion

Charles H. Townes, professor emeritus at the University of California-Berkeley and an international authority on quantum electronics and astrophysics, revolutionized the world with his invention of the laser, which he patented in 1960. In addition to his many contributions to science and industry, Townes is equally respected for his efforts at reconciling the claims of science and religion. Beyond his Nobel and Templeton Prizes, Townes boasts a long and storied career in both academia and industry as well as nearly 30 honorary degrees from various international universities. In addition to pioneering posts at Bell Laboratories, the Institute for Defense Analysis and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Townes has served as a professor at many notable U.S. institutions, including Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and UC-Berkeley. He worked on an advanced radar system for Allied bombers during World War II and also served as chairman of the advisory committee to Project Apollo. Now in his ninth decade, Townes still enjoys traveling and discussing the future of science. He has detailed his life's story and accomplishments in two books, "Making Waves" and "How the Laser Happened: Adventures of a Scientist."

2008 Recipient(s)
Portrait of Dr. Francis S.  Collins

Dr. Francis S. Collins

Director , National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health

The Language of God

Francis Collins, who earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of Virginia and a doctorate in physical chemistry at Yale University, is a member of the National Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences. His laboratories at the NIH and University of Michigan have pioneered the discovery of a number of important genes, including those responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington's disease and, most recently, Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, a dramatic form of premature aging. In addition to his scientific achievements, Collins is known for his continuing emphasis on the importance of ethical and legal issues in genetics. He has been a strong advocate for protecting the privacy of genetic information and has served as a national leader in efforts to prohibit gene-based insurance and employment discrimination.

No Photo Available

Dr. Steven Weinberg

1979 Nobel Prize in Physics Professor of Physics & Astronomy, University of Texas

Without God

Steven Weinberg, who taught at Columbia, Berkeley, MIT and Harvard before coming to Texas in 1982, has earned a number of professional honors in addition to the Nobel Prize, including the National Medal of Science (1991) and American Philosophical Society's Benjamin Franklin Medal (2004). A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Britain's Royal Society, the Royal Irish Academy, the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has authored more than 300 articles and 10 books on elementary particle physics, cosmology and other subjects. Weinberg has served as a consultant at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, as president of the Philosophical Society of Texas and as a member of the Board of Editors of Daedalus magazine, the Council of Scholars of the Library of Congress, the JASON group of defense consultants and many other boards and committees. Educated at Cornell, Copenhagen and Princeton, he also holds honorary doctoral degrees from 16 other universities, including Chicago, Columbia, McGill, Padua, Salamanca and Yale.

2007 Recipient(s)
Portrait of Dr. Simon Conway Morris

Dr. Simon Conway Morris

Professor of Earth Sciences Holder of the Chair in Evolutionary Paleobiology at the University of Cambridge

Darwin's Compass: How Evolution Discovers the Song of Creation

A Fellow of the Royal Society of London and an honorary fellow of the European Union of Geosciences, Conway Morris has been a fellow at St. John's College, Cambridge, since 1975. He is best known for his study of the famous Burgess Shale fossil fauna and the early evolution of skeletons -- research that has impacted global understanding of how life evolved on Earth. These Cambrian studies, in combination with Conway Morris' interest in fellow paleobiologist Stephen J. Gould's arguments for contingency in the history of life, helped spawn his current interest in evolutionary convergence and its broader significance.

2006 Recipient(s)
Portrait of Dr. Freeman J. Dyson

Dr. Freeman J. Dyson

2000 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion Winner Professor Emeritus of physics, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Heretical Thoughts about Science and Society

A member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society, Freeman Dyson served as a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton for 40 years prior to being named a professor emeritus in 1994. Dyson, a former professor of physics at Cornell University (1951-1953), holds 21 honorary degrees and has earned a variety of prestigious awards during his career, including the Danny Heineman Prize from American Institute of Physics (1965), the Oersted Medal from the American Association of Physics Teachers (1991) and the Enrico Fermi Award from the U.S. Department of Energy (1995). A prolific author as well as theorist, he was recognized with a Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science for his 1988 book, Infinite in All Directions, while his 1979 book, Disturbing the Universe, was commissioned by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's Science Book Program. In 1984 Dyson was recognized with a National Books Critics Circle Award for Non-Fiction, and in 1996, he also received the Lewis Thomas Prize honoring the Scientist as Poet from Rockefeller University.

Portrait of Dr. William D. Phillips

Dr. William D. Phillips

1997 Nobel Prize in Physics Winner Research Group Leader, Physics Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology

Ordinary Faith, Ordinary Science

One of the leading speakers at the 2001 Harvard conference, The Quest for Knowledge, Truth and Values in Science and Religion, William Phillips has merited a number of professional honors in addition to the Nobel Prize. These include the Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science from the American Physical Society (1998), the Michelson Medal from the Franklin Institute (1996), and both the Gold (1993) and Silver Medals (1983) from the United States Department of Commerce. A member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Sigma Xi Research Society, he is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Phillips also has been a Woodrow Wilson Fellow (1970), a National Science Foundation Fellow (1970-1973), a Chaim Weizmann Postdoctoral Fellow (1976-1978) and an APS-DLS Distinguished Traveling Lecturer (1996-1998).

2005 Recipient(s)
Portrait of Dr. William Dembski

Dr. William Dembski

Associate Research Professor, Baylor University

Intelligent Design's Place in the Natural Sciences

A mathematician and a philosopher, William Dembski is a senior fellow with Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture in Seattle and also executive director of the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design. He has previously taught at Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Dallas and done postdoctoral work in mathematics at MIT, in physics at the University of Chicago, and in computer science at Princeton University. In addition, Dembski is the author/editor of 10 books, including In The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities.

Portrait of Dr. Stuart Kauffman

Dr. Stuart Kauffman

Director, Institute for Biocomplexity and Informatics, University of Calgary

Toward a Physical Definition of Life

Stuart Kauffman, professor emeritus of biology at the University of Pennsylvania and an external professor and co-founder of the Santa Fe Institute, is a leading thinker on self-organization and the science of complexity as applied to biology. Twenty-five years ago, he developed the Kauffman models, which are random networks exhibiting a kind of self-organization that he terms "order for free." A MacArthur Fellow, he is the founding general partner and chief scientific officer of The Bios Group, a company that applies the science of complexity to business management problems. Kauffman is also a physician, though he no longer practices, as well as a prolific author.

2004 Recipient(s)
Portrait of Dr. Paul Davies

Dr. Paul Davies

Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University

Did Life Come From Mars?

Paul Davies, a professor of Natural Philosophy in the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University, conducted research in the fields of cosmology, gravitation, and quantum field theory, with particular emphasis on black holes, the origin of the universe, and the nature of time.

Portrait of Dr. Robert Shapiro

Dr. Robert Shapiro

Professor Emeritus and Senior Lecturer of Chemistry, New York University

Science & Myth in the Origin of Life

Robert Shapiro, a professor emeritus and senior lecturer of Chemistry at New York University, conducted research centered on the chemistry of nucleic acids. Through his research, Shapiro has argued that the complexity of RNA is too great for spontaneous, unassisted assembly of the first molecules to take place.

2003 Recipient(s)
Portrait of Dr. Alan Guth

Dr. Alan Guth

Father of the "inflationary universe" theory Professor of Physics at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cosmic Inflation and the Origin of the Universe

Alan Guth, a National Academy of Sciences member, is known as the father of the "inflationary universe" theory, which holds that a repulsive force embedded in the universe caused the inconceivably rapid early expansion of the Big Bang. Initially, the universe was so small that its temperature and density should have been uniform. Guth's awards include the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics. Last year, he was a recipient of the Dirac Medal from the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics at Trieste, Italy.

Portrait of Rev. Dr. John  Polkinghorne

Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne

Anglican Priest Former Professor of Mathematical Physics and President of Queens' College, Cambridge

The Universe as Creation

Polkinghorne made a 25-year career as a theoretical particle physicist, becoming a fellow of the Royal Society (Britain's National Academy of Science), before he decided in midlife to enter the seminary and become an Anglican priest. He has written a series of books about science and religion from the perspective of one able to regard the fields with uncommon levels of insight and appreciation. Far from denouncing science in favor of religion, Polkinghorne has written that he respects both and believes that they are complementary aspects of one great quest for truth and understanding. Polkinghorne is the 2002 winner of the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities. Polkinghorne was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II of England in 1997.

2002 Recipient(s)
Portrait of Sir Francis Crick

Sir Francis Crick

1962 Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine and Physiology The Salk Institute

The Astonishing Hypothesis

Crick won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for his discovery of the structure of DNA. As J.W. Kieckhefer Distinguished Research Professor at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, his work was entirely theoretical, focusing mainly on the visual system of mammals and neurobiology. His goal was to bring together the molecular and cellular aspects of neurons, the observations of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, and the behavior of organisms as studied by psychologists. Widely published in many areas, including the neural basis of attention, REM sleep and the visual system of awareness, Crick's later research up until his death in July 2004 was focused on discovering the neural correlate of consciousness.

Portrait of Dr. Charles Townes

Dr. Charles Townes

1964 Nobel Prize in Physics University of California-Berkeley

The Convergence of Science and Religion

Townes was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of the laser. His recent work at UC-Berkeley has focused on astrophysics. He notes that while at times it has appeared that science and religion seem to clash, the two actually are closely related. Though they can appear very different, Townes claims there is much parallelism, as both science and religion are based on human abilities to understand using postulates or faith, intuition and inspiration, experimentation or observations, and logic or reason. In addition to the Nobel Prize, Townes has received the Templeton Prize for contributions to the understanding of religion, as well as a number of other prestigious awards and nearly 30 honorary degrees from various international universities.

Steering Committee

The Trotter Endowed Lecture Series Self-Perpetuating Steering Committee provides overall guidance and program development. It is comprised of deans and distinguished faculty from the Texas A&M University Colleges of Science and Engineering, a representative of the donor and external scholars and scientists.

Steering Committee
Portrait of Kemble Bennett Dr. Katherine M. Banks Dean, The Dwight Look College of Engineering
Portrait of Walter Bradley Dr. Walter Bradley Professor Emeritus, Mechanical Engineering
Portrait of John Gladysz Dr. John Gladysz Distinguished Professor, Chemistry
Portrait of Jay Humphrey Dr. Jay Humphrey Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Yale University
Portrait of Joseph Newton Dr. H. Joseph Newton Former Dean, College of Science
Portrait of Marlan Scully Professor Marlan Scully Distinguished Professor, Physics
Portrait of Ide Trotter Dr. Ide P. Trotter Donor Representative
Portrait of James Womack Dr. James Womack Distinguished Professor, Veterinary Pathology
Ide P. Trotter Family, circa 1950
CREDIT: Cushing Memorial Library

The endowed lecture series, which marks the college's fifth overall, and its associated prize are being established to honor the memory of Dr. Ide P. Trotter Sr., former dean of the Texas A&M Graduate School. Trotter served in numerous administrative capacities at Texas A&M, including a head of the Department of Agronomy (1936-1944); director of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service (1944-1948); dean of the Graduate School (1949-1956); and associate dean of the Graduate School and extension consultant for professional improvement (1956-1960). As dean of the Graduate School, he initiated a graduate lecture series. Trotter's son, Dr. Ide P. Trotter Jr., along with his wife, Luella H. Trotter, decided to establish the lecture series to assist in carrying on at Texas A&M the broad educational objectives championed by his father.

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