May 31, 2018

Are the human mind and soul more than just chemical reactions in the brain? Is there more to the brain than simply matter? Catholic scientists and philosophers from around the world will gather at The Catholic University of America in June to talk about these questions in the context of science and faith.

Members of the Society of Catholic Scientists (SCS) will explore “The Human Mind and Physicalism” at their second annual conference to be held at Catholic University June 8 through 10.

Physicalism (or scientific materialism) asserts that all of reality, including the human mind, is physical. Experts will examine this claim from the point of view of physics, neuroscience, computer science, mathematical logic, philosophy, and other disciplines.  

The conference will include videotaped remarks by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington and chancellor of Catholic University.

Conference speakers include:

  • Stephen M. Barr, SCS president and professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Delaware, "The Role of the Observer in Quantum Mechanics"
  • Edward Feser, associate professor, philosophy, Pasadena City College, "Arguments for the Immateriality of the Mind"
  • Kara D. Lamb, research scientist, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colo., "Integral ecology as a restoration of man’s proper role in creation"
  • Javier Sánchez-Cañizares, philosophy faculty, University of Navarra, Spain, "Mind First: Why the Decoherence Program Entails the Copenhagen Interpretation"
  • Valerio Scarani, professor, physics, National University of Singapore, Center for Quantum Technologies, "Randomness in Quantum Phenomena"
  • Aaron Schurger, French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, "Fifty Years without Free Will"

The conference will be held at The Catholic University of America, Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center Great Room, 620 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington, D.C. For more information, click here.

The Society of Catholic Scientists is an international lay organization founded in June 2016 to foster fellowship among Catholic scientists and to witness to the harmony of faith and  reason. SCS hopes to answer the call of St. John Paul II who noted that members of the Church who are active scientists can be of service to those who are attempting “to integrate the worlds of science and religion in their own intellectual and spiritual lives.”

MEDIA: To attend this event, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at or 202-319-5600.

Aaron Dominguez, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and professor, physics, is available for interviews on the intersection of faith and science in advance of the conference. Dominguez has worked on the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, building particle detectors to study the most basic building blocks of nature and how they fit together. Read more at To schedule an interview, email or call 202-319-5600.