Villanova University Awards 2009 Mendel Medal to Dr. Kenneth Miller

Pre-eminent Evolutionary Scientist to Deliver Mendel Medal Lecture Nov. 20

Established in 1928, the Mendel Medal recognizes scientific accomplishment and religious conviction

For Immediate Release
Nov. 17, 2009

VILLANOVA, Pa., Nov. 17, 2009 – Villanova University has selected Kenneth R. Miller, Ph.D., a professor of biology at Brown University as the recipient of its 2009 Mendel Medal. The Mendel Medal is awarded by Villanova to outstanding scientists who have painstakingly advanced the cause of science, and, by their lives and their standing before the world as scientists, have demonstrated that no intrinsic conflict exists between true science and true religion.

Dr. Miller will deliver the 2009 Mendel Medal Lecture, “Darwinian Grandeur: A Biologist’s Journey Through Evolution’s ‘Tangled Bank,’” at the Connelly Center Cinema on the Villanova campus on Friday, Nov. 20, at 2 p.m.

A pre-eminent evolutionary scientist, Miller wrote the acclaimed book Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution, a cutting-edge analysis of key issues that seem to divide science and religion. In the book, Miller contends that, properly understood, evolution adds depth and meaning not only to a scientific view of the world, but also to a spiritual one.

Miller also gained notice as a lead witness in the Pennsylvania "intelligent design" case that was the first direct challenge brought in U.S. federal court against a public school district that required the presentation of "intelligent design" as an alternative to evolution to explain the origin of life. Miller has appeared on “The Colbert Report” several times, most recently in June 2008 to discuss his book Only a Theory.

Villanova University established the Mendel Medal in 1928 to recognize scientific accomplishment and religious conviction as epitomized by Gregor Johann Mendel – commonly known as the “father of genetics” – the Augustinian priest and scientist who discovered the celebrated laws of heredity that now bear his name. Villanova University is one of only two Catholic Augustinian institutions of higher education in the nation.

Past recipients have included Nobel Laureates, outstanding medical researchers, pioneers in physics, astrophysics and chemistry, and noted scientist-theologians. For more information on the Mendel Medal visit: www.villanova.edu/artsci/college/about/awards/mendelmedal/

Villanova University, a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.