VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis appointed Steven Chu, a Nobel-winning physicist from the United States, to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
Chu, who served as secretary of energy under U.S. President Barack Obama, was appointed to the papal think tank, the Vatican announced Oct. 20.
Born in St. Louis, Chu is the co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics “for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.”
He was a professor of physics and molecular and cellular physiology at Stanford University in California before serving as energy secretary from 2009 to 2013; in that post, he was the first scientist to hold a cabinet position, according to the Stanford physics department website.
After his term in the Obama administration, Chu returned to teaching at Stanford.
Chu, 70, has published over 280 papers in atomic and polymer physics, biophysics, biology, bio-imaging, batteries, and other energy technologies. Additionally, he holds 15 patents.
Chu is also a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Korean Academy of Sciences and Technology.
According to the papal academy’s website, the members are “eighty women and men from many countries who have made outstanding contributions in their fields of scientific endeavor. They are nominated by the Holy Father after being elected by the body of the academicians.”
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences encompasses six areas of study: fundamental science; science and technology of global problems; science for the problems of the developing world; scientific policy; bioethics; and epistemology.
Members participate in study groups and meetings, examining specific issues and publishing deliberations and scientific papers. The academy was established in 1936 by Pope Pius XI.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103