Gordon in the News: last updated 05/03/2010

Gordon's Institute for Public History Launches Derby Square Lecture Series

March 17, 2010

Jo Kadlecek
Office of College Communications
[email protected]

WENHAM, MA—For many Americans the battle between science and religion is a significant one. The struggle whether to believe the Bible or mainstream science is often polarizing and strained.

The two, however, do not have to be incompatible. In an effort to foster healthy dialogue in these areas, the Gordon College Institute for Public History has launched a new series of public lectures. The Derby Square Lecture Series, held at Old Town Hall in Salem, will offer a variety of 40-minute talks around contemporary issues—the first two on science-related themes—followed by a question and answer time and book signings. Admission costs—which are subsidized by the Gordon College Institute for Public History—are $5 per lecture, or $8 for both lectures, and free for college students with an I.D.

Chris Mooney, Knight Fellow in Science Journalism at MIT, will present the second of the new Derby Square Lecture Series on April 28 at 7 p.m. The author of several books including How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future (coauthored with Sheril Kirshenbaum), and Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics and the Battle Over Global Warming—selected as a 2007 best book of the year in the science category by Publisher’s Weekly—Mooney will offer an impassioned call to reintegrate science into the public discourse before it’s too late.

“These lectures explore relevant topics and bring world-class thinkers to the community,” said Dr. Cliff Hersey, director of global education at Gordon College, which oversees the Institute for Public History. “And on Wednesday, May 19, we’ll hold a follow-up discussion for the public as well as local schools and colleges as a way to respond to the first two lectures. It’s an exciting way to build dialogue.”

All lectures will be held at the Salem Old Town Hall, Derby Square, at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or by calling History Alive! at 978.867.4767. The final discussion will be free to all. 

The first lecture was to be held March 30 at 7 p.m. featuring Dr. Karl Giberson, vice president of BioLogos Foundation, physics professor at Eastern Nazarene and author of several books including the acclaimed Saving Darwin. Though the lecture was cancelled due to rains and flooding, Giberson—who was to discuss his struggle to make peace with Darwin without losing his faith—will serve as host for Mooney's lecture on Wednesday. Interwoven with Giberson's personal journey is the story of a deeply religious America wrestling with a science that is often used as a club to bash religion.

“Plans are already underway for next year’s Derby Square Lecture Series, which will begin in the fall,” Hersey said. “We’re still waiting to confirm our speakers, but I can tell you they will present some thought-provoking ideas.”


Gordon College is a multidenominational Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston’s North Shore, offering majors in 36 fields with graduate programs in education and music education. Gordon is nationally recognized for excellence in academics and in character building, and ranks as one of the nation’s top Christian colleges. www.gordon.edu


Salem Old Town Hall