Special Event

Honest to God

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 | 7:00pm

Michael Gerson of the Washington Post leads a conversation with Dr. Francis Collins, former director of the Human Genome Project, and Dr. Jennifer Wiseman of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Both scientists and Christians, Dr. Collins and Dr. Wiseman share how their faith impacts their work as scientists and public figures and explore the intersection of faith, religion and science.

In the Cathedral’s Honest to God series, civic leaders share the ways in which their lives have been shaped by the practices of their faith and the interplay between religion and public leadership. Each event is an evening of conversation that invites public figures to pull back the curtain, revealing to us the faith that undergirds their public action. How have the values, teachings and worship of their faith community shaped their public works? What lessons might they draw for other public figures, or those aspiring to public leadership, about the importance of spirituality or religion? Through intimate conversation and the sharing of stories, participants courageously offer honesty, authenticity and faith at a time when our country is in dire need of such a generous gift.


Michael Gerson, columnist at the Washington Post

Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health

Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, Program Director of the Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion (DoSER) for the American Association for the Advancement of Science


Francis Collins is a physician-scientist. Under his direction, the Human Genome Project produced the first finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. His contributions to science, medicine, and society have been recognized by the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science. A former atheist, Collins became a Christian during his medical training, and wrote about that in a best-selling book, The Language of God.  Subsequently he founded the BioLogos Foundation, to provide a meeting place for individuals interested in serious and civil discourse on the potential harmony between science and Christian faith. Since 2009, Collins has served under two U.S. Presidents as the Director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world.


Dr. Jennifer Wiseman is an astronomer, author and speaker.  She studies the process of star and planet formation in our galaxy using radio, optical, and infrared telescopes. She is also interested in national science policy and public science engagement. She served as a Congressional Science Fellow for the American Physical Society and directs the program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion (DoSER) for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Wiseman studied physics at MIT, co-discovering comet Wiseman-Skiff in 1987, and continued in astronomy with her doctoral research at Harvard. She has worked with several international observatories and is currently a senior astrophysicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center.  Dr. Wiseman is a Fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation, a network of Christians in Science.

  • Admission
  • Dates Offered
    • November 12, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm