Monday, October 1, 2012

Monsignor Georges Lemaître Father of the Big Bang

The BBC has produced a wonderful half-hour radio programme about this Catholic Priest who is known as the Father of the Big Bang, describing the integration of his love of science with his faith, acknowledging him as a holy priest, a true scientist and appealing human being.

From the BBC website:
William Crawley tells the surprising story of the Catholic priest behind one of the most important scientific theories of our time.

Monsignor Georges Lemaître was both a great scientist and a deeply spiritual priest, and his work on cosmology continues to influence our best scientific accounts of the universe.

He came up with the scientific notion of The Big Bang Theory, now one of the most recognisable scientific brands in the world, Lemaitre wore his clerical collar while teaching physics, at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.

It was this unassuming Catholic priest in this modest centre of academia who has changed the way we look at the origins of the universe.

His story also challenges the assumption that science and religion are always in conflict.

William meets men of God, and men of science who knew Lemaitre, to explain how he was able to satisfy his ardent religious beliefs alongside his curiosity about how the world was formed, a curiosity that has radically shaped modern scientific ideas, and how his life-story also challenges the claim that science and religion are necessarily in conflict.


  1. Br. Guy Consolmagno of the Vatican Observatory said Abbé Lemaître had two doctorate degrees, one in physics and another in mathematics! This is a good, short biography of Abbé Lemaître.

  2. Thank you for flagging this up, Father. If it was on national radio I missed it, but your link directed me to the BBC World Service. It was a very good programme indeed.


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