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Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., will host its annual Discovery Day on Wednesday, April 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. This year it will feature more than 50 presentations involving nearly 300 students discussing their research on everything from liturgical music to “green” batteries. The day will also feature a keynote address from Stephen M. Barr, Ph.D., president of the Society of Catholic Scientists and a noted particle physicist with several discoveries and theories bearing his name. His presentation is set for 1:00 p.m. on April 6 in O’Malley-McAllister Auditorium inside the St. John Paul II Student Center. All events and presentations are free and open to the public.
Each year, Benedictine College cancels its classes and meetings to allow for students and faculty to attend Discovery Day, a day of learning focused on student projects that have been researched outside of the classroom. More than 3000 students have participated in Benedictine’s Discovery Day since its inception in 1996. In that time, most faculty members and academic departments have taken an active role in sponsoring student projects.
Barr, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Delaware, former Director of its Bartol Research Institute, is known for his work in particle and nuclear physics, including the Nelson-Barr Mechanism, a proposed solution to one of the unsolved problems of physics, the Strong CP Problem. He also co-discovered the flipped SU(5) scheme of unification and identified the Barr–Zee Diagram as an important source of electric dipole moment for basic particles. He is the author of the article on “Grand Unified Theories” for the Encyclopedia of Physics and of the book Modern Physics and Ancient Faith (Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 2003).
Barr writes and lectures frequently on the relation of science and religion. Since 2000 he has served on the editorial advisory board (now the advisory council) of the religious intellectual journal First Things, in which many of his articles and book reviews have appeared. His writing has also appeared in Commonweal, National Review, Modern Age, The Public Interest, America, The Wall Street Journal and other publications. In 2002 he gave the Erasmus Lecture, sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Public Life. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI awarded him the Benemerenti Medal for service to the Catholic Church. In 2010 he was elected a member of the Academy of Catholic Theology.
He is married to Kathleen Whitney Barr. They have five children.
Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.