Dr. Holmes Rolston III - 2005
Holmes Rolston is a University Distinguished Professor and Professor of Philosophy at Colorado State University. He delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh, 1997/1998, published as Genes, Genesis and God (Cambridge University Press, 1999). A philosopher praised the work as "a long song in praise of self-transcending creativity" and found "the book itself a magnificent example of creativity" (Frederick Ferr). A molecular biologist found it "a real masterpiece. The author's grasp of biology is mind-blowing."
Dr. Rolston was the Templeton Prize laureate in 2003. The award, presented to him by Prince Philip in Buckingham Palace, is larger in monetary value than a Nobel Prize. Dr. Rolston donated the proceeds to his alma mater, Davidson College, to endow a chair in science and religion.
Dr. Rolston is widely respected for his work in the dialogue between science and religion, especially in his reconciling of evolutionary natural history and monotheism. His Science and Religion: A Critical Survey (Random House, 1987), was a ground-breaking work. He has repeatedly addressed the question of struggle and evil in nature, finding a "cruciform creation." In a prize-winning article, he asks: "Does Nature Need to be Redeemed?" Life is generated and regenerated in the midst of its perpetual perishing. He is a founding member of the honorary International Society for Science and Religion.
Dr. Rolston is also known as "the father of environmental ethics," for his defense of intrinsic value in nature and of caring for creation. He is featured in Fifty Key Thinkers on the Environment (Joy A. Palmer, ed., Routledge, 2001), also profiled in American Environmental Leaders: From Colonial Times to the Present (ABC-Clio, 2000), and in Encyclopedia Britannica, 2004 Book of the Year. His Environmental Ethics remains a founding book in the field.
Dr. Rolston was awarded Doctor of Letters by Davidson College in 2002. He has authored or edited six books and over one hundred articles in books and professional journals, with his work reprinted over one hundred times and in over a dozen languages. He has lectured on all seven continents; his research has been used in classes at over three hundred colleges and universities. In 2005-2006 he will be Visiting Distinguished Professor of Bioethics at Yale University.
Mendel Medal Presentation Program, April 2, 2005. Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania.