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Chemist Henry F. Schaefer III Visits Bethel

Chemist Henry F. Schaefer III Visits Bethel

Henry Schaefer gave four presentations during his visit to Bethel.

On Monday, March 12, Henry F. Schaefer III, Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and director of Computational Chemistry at the University of Georgia, visited Bethel to speak about his personal faith, the relationship between science and religion, and the research being done at the Center for Computational Chemistry. Schaefer received a B.S. in chemical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D.  in chemical physics from Stanford University, and has since received 22 honorary degrees in addition to numerous awards. He is one of the most respected chemists of his generation, having published more than 1,300 scientific articles, presented plenary lectures at more than 240 scientific conferences, and spoken at more than 50 universities. From 1981-1997 he was the sixth most highly cited chemist in the world. His research seeks to develop theoretical and computational methods to understand the movement and function of electrons in molecules, and to use those theoretical methods to solve important problems in molecular quantum mechanics.

While on campus, Schaefer shared the story of how he formed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and presented his lecture “The Big Bang, Stephen Hawking, and Different Worldviews.” In the lecture, he discussed the relationship between science and faith, and highlighted a number of prominent scientists who proposed theories consistent with the idea of God, demonstrating that being a Christian and being a scientist aren’t mutually exclusive. He concluded his visit with a presentation on the state-of-the-art research being conducted at the Center for Computational Chemistry, followed by an evening lecture entitled “C.S. Lewis on Science and Scientism.”


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