The Relationship Between Science and Religion

Charles Mosesian Theater
MAY 1/2016


Kyna Hamill, PhD, Boston University


Diane O’Donoghue, Ph.D.
Sir Christopher Ricks
Ian Hutchinson, Ph.D.

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Moderator, Kyna Hamill

Kyna Hamill received her Ph.D. in Theatre History from Tufts University. She is currently the Assistant Director of the CAS Core Curriculum and also teaches dramatic literature in BU’s School of Theatre. She specializes in the iconography of the Commedia dell’arte, theatre and war, and theatre semiotics. She has published articles in Print Quarterly, Theatre Symposium and The Performance of Violence in Contemporary Ireland. She also edited They Fight: Classical to Contemporary Stage Fight Scenes, a collection of stage combat scenes, with special attention paid to diverse weaponry and scenes for women. Her current research project examines the legacy of the Baroque print artist, Jacques Callot on art, literature and theatre.



Diane O’Donoghue, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow for the Humanies, Tufts University

Diane O’Donoghue is the Senior Fellow for the Humanities at Tisch College. She joined the Tufts faculty in 1991, teaching in the Department of Visual and Critical Studies (in affiliation with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts) in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. She served for two terms as department chair and has been a recipient of the Excellence in Teaching award. She is an art historian (Ph.D. Harvard University) who specialized in the Bronze Age of China and has taught courses on the visual cultures of Asia, as well as on theories of representation, gender, and art criticism.

It was in the course of writing Reflection and Reception: The Origins of the Mirror in Bronze Age China (Stockholm: Östasiatiska Museet, 1990) that she began to recognize that, in addition to serving as cultural and political documents, excavated objects produced meanings of depth and surface, of materiality and memory. To pursue these questions from another perspective, she became an affiliate scholar at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, where she was a Silberger Scholar, and was elected to membership and appointed to the faculty. Dr. O’Donoghue has been the Fulbright/Sigmund Freud Scholar of Psychoanalysis at the University of Vienna and the Freud Museum.

She has received the CORST Prize, for her writing on psychoanalysis and archaeology, from the American Psychoanalytic Association, and was awarded a second Fulbright Fellowship for Austria, where she was affiliated with the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She was the Ortner-Chopin Visiting Professor, also in Vienna, in 2010, and the Scholar-in-Residence at the Erikson Institute for the spring semester of 2014. She is currently completing a book project that investigates the role of visual cultures in Freud’s construction of the unconscious. A recipient of the Felix and Helene Deutsch Prize for writing on Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams, she has published on a variety of cultural objects—ruins, maps, “antiquities,” and illustrated books—as they informed the psychoanalytic theories of mind. She serves on the editorial board of American Imago: Psychoanalysis and the Human Sciences.



Sir Christopher Ricks
William M. and Sara B. Warren Professor of the Humanities, Boston University

Christopher Ricks is the William M. and Sara B. Warren Professor of the Humanities at Boston University, having formerly been professor of English at Bristol and at Cambridge. He is a member of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers, of which he was president (2007-2008). He has edited and also teaches in the Core Curriculum. He was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford in 2004, and is known both for his critical studies and for his editorial work. The latter includes The Poems of Tennyson (revised 1987), The New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse (1987), Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909-1917 by T. S. Eliot (1996), The Oxford Book of English Verse (1999), Selected Poems of James Henry (2002), Samuel Menashe’s New and Selected Poems (2005), Samuel Beckett’s The Expelled / The Calmative / The End / First Love (2009), Henry James’s What Maisie Knew (2010) and for Penguin Books Alfred Lord Tennyson: Selected Poems (2007). He is the author of Milton’s Grand Style (1963), Keats and Embarrassment (1974), The Force of Poetry (1984), T. S. Eliot and Prejudice (1988), Tennyson (1989), Beckett’s Dying Words (1993), Essays in Appreciation (1996), Allusion to the Poets (2002), Reviewery (2002), Decisions and Revisions in T. S. Eliot (2003), Dylan’s Visions of Sin (2004), and True Friendship: Geoffrey Hill, Anthony Hecht, and Robert Lowell under the Sign of Eliot and Pound (2010). He was Professor of Poetry at Oxford, 2004-2009; in 2010, Waywiser Press published his anthology Joining Music with Reason: 34 Poets, British and American, Oxford 2004-2009.



Ian Hutchinson, Ph.D.
Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Ian H. Hutchinson (born 1951) is Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has written and spoken widely on the relationship between science and the Christian faith, and is the author of the 2011 book Monopolizing Knowledge: A scientist refutes religion-denying reason-destroying scientism. His primary research interest is plasma physics, especially the magnetic confinement of plasmas (ionized gases): seeking to enable fusion reactions, the energy source of the stars, to be used for practical energy production. He and his MIT team designed, built and operate the Alcator C-Mod tokamak, an international experimental facility whose magnetically confined plasmas, with temperatures reaching beyond 50 million degrees Celsius, are prototypical of a future fusion reactor.

Following undergraduate education at the University of Cambridge, his graduate studies, as a Commonwealth Scholar at the Australian National University, involved experiments on one of the earliest tokamaks to operate outside the Soviet Union. After ground-breaking research (1976-9) on MIT’s earliest major tokamak experiment, he worked on a different confinement configuration, the Reversed Field Pinch, with the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority, where he made landmark measurements of magnetic turbulence structure showing that it could explain the energy transport. He returned to MIT in 1983 as a member of the Nuclear Engineering department faculty. He directed the Alcator project from 1987 to 2003, and served as Head of the MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering from 2003 to 2009.

His personal scientific contributions span many areas of plasma physics, including the first direct measurement of anomalous resistivity during MHD disruptions and of hollow current profiles during current rise, the first observations of polarized tokamak electron cyclotron radiation and development of diagnostics of thermal and nonthermal electron distributions based on it, fundamental theory of Mach probes to measure plasma flow, comprehensive computational and analytic studies of the interaction of flowing plasmas with embedded objects, and observations of spontaneous tokamak plasma rotation.

In addition to 200 journal articles on a variety of plasma phenomena, Dr. Hutchinson is widely known for his standard textbook on measuring plasmas: Principles of Plasma Diagnostics (2002), and more recently A Student’s Guide to Numerical Methods (2015), both published by Cambridge University Press. He has served on numerous national fusion review panels, and on the editorial board of Physics of Fluids B, Physical Review E, and the New Journal of Physics, He was editor in chief of the journal Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion (2000-4). He was the 2008 Chairman of the Division of Plasma Physics of the American Physical Society. His present personal research interests include plasma momentum transport, plasma radiation, interactions of flowing plasmas with solid objects and dust particles, and tokamak boundary phenomena. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Institute of Physics.

Hutchinson is also the author of the computer program TtH a TeX to HTML translator, widely used for web-publishing of mathematics. He is an enthusiastic fly-fisherman, squash player, and choral singer.