Science in Christian Perspective



Walter R. Hearn, Ph.D.

From JASA 10 (December 1958): 18-30.

I think this new experiment is working:; our gettogether at the A.C.S. meeting in Chicago on September 9 seemed to me to be a tremendous success. Wallace Erickson had arranged for a banquet room at the Como, a very fine Italian restaurant convenient to the Loop. Some of us found ourselves a bit lost in the menu-surrounded by all that ravioli, cotollete di agnello, aragosta, and spumoni-and a few timidly ordered the first thing they recognized (the spaghetti was excellent, grazie). Seventeen chemists attended the dinner, several A.S.A. members being unable to make it because of other engagements on Tuesday night. I gave a brief review of the 1938 Annual Convention and Delbert Eggenberger gave an excellent talk on the past, present, and future of the A.S.A. Finally, we had an open discussion about what the Affiliation is doing and what it ought to be doing.

One of the things we discussed was what we would like to do at these get-togethers at A.C.S. meetings in the future. Several fellows suggested that just get ting acquainted was worthwhile, no matter what kind
of program we had. One of the things that impressed me about this meeting was that I kept running into friends attending the A.C.S. who might be interested in the A.S.A., so I carried a few mimeographed notices of our get-together in my pocket during the sessions and was able to invite half a dozen fellows. Several of those I invited did attend the get-together and ex pressed an interest in the A.S.A. as a result. Further more, one chemist who had never heard of the A.S.A. saw the small poster I put up at the registration desk and came on his own! He said he was a Christian who was just looking for this kind of group to have fellowship with. So one obvious reason for our get ting together as a group at national meetings is to spread the word about our Affiliation. I found it easy to let some of my chemist friends know of my faith in Christ merely by telling them I would be busy that night "because I was getting together with a bunch of other Christian chemists for dinner and fellowship. Would you like to come along?" In fact, this seems to offer one of the best approaches for witnessing to colleagues I've found in a long time. 

Another valid reason for meeting seems to be to pro vide some wholesome fellowship for lonesome chemists away from home and pooped out after two or three days of technical papers and professional gossip! Be yond that, most of the fellows at the Chicago get-to- gether seemed to favor having considerable variety in the programs we plan; suggestions included papers such as those presented at our Annual Conventions, discussions of problems of a Christian in scientific work or college teaching, devotional fellowship with hymn-singing, prayer, and sharing of experience, and perhaps occasionally a talk by a theologian or philoso pher to put our scientific work in proper perspective. If you have other suggestions, let me hear from you. Let's see, it's Boston in April and Detroit in September, I believe. I've already written to Irving Cowperthwaite to ask him to make the arrangements for the Boston meeting. 

The proposal has already been made that we start an A.S.A. Newsletter to come out more frequently than the Journal, a mimeographed sheet to carry news of such events as our A.C.S. get-togethers and also local section news.