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10/19/2017
“Jonathan Edwards and ‘the Nature of Things,’" Deerfield, IL and Streaming

10/23/2017 » 10/25/2017
Creation and Cosmology: The Beginning & End of God’s Good World, Oak Park, IL

10/23/2017
“Space, the Final (Philosophical) Frontier" Wheaton, IL

10/24/2017
“God’s Agape/Probability Design,” Langley, BC

10/26/2017
“The Natural, the Supernatural, and the Meaning of Creation,” Deerfield, IL and Streaming

CWIS: Christian Women in Science
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Prayer for the 2017 ASA Annual Conference

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Tuesday, July 4, 2017

 

Almighty God, whose pleasure it is that your servants should serve you joyfully, grant that all who gather in Colorado will find good fellowship, fruitful conversation, and renewal in their labors. May your Holy Spirit inspire those who speak and strengthen those who work behind the scenes. Continue to use the ASA and CWIS to advance science in the service of your eternal kingdom. This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came into the world to save sinners. May He receive all glory, honor and power, now and forever. Amen.

Tags:  ASA Annual Conference  prayer 

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Dr. Chris Templar on Her Life and Work

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Thursday, May 18, 2017

 

Chris Templar
 

Alice C. Linsley

 
I became acquainted with Chris Templar in October 2016 when I attended her fun and informative workshop on robotics in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Dr. Chris Templar is one of the leading technology and robotics professors in the United States. She has been teaching for more than 35 years at Johnson University in Knoxville, Tennessee. The School of Education was named the Templar School of Education in honor of Dr. Templar. She was instrumental in the design and delivery of Johnson’s undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs; preparing the University for four state visits for Tennessee State approval of the teacher education programs; the design of the Chinese studies program, and taking the Master of Arts in Educational Technology project to Zhengzhou, China.
 
Dr. Templar's distinguished career continues through her recent appointment as director of international teacher education and director of educational technology, focusing her efforts on Johnson graduate students from The People’s Republic of China.
 
Alice Linsley: First, thank you, Dr. Templar, for taking time out of your busy schedule to be interviewed. When did you realize that you wanted to serve Jesus Christ?
 
Dr. Templar: I became a Christian when I was 7 years old and was baptized at 13. I knew for as long as I can remember that I wanted to be a missionary to the Chinese.
 
Tell me about your childhood in England. What experiences shaped you and your later interests?
 
I grew up in a Christian home in England with very supportive parents. My parents were very committed to missions and brought me up to look up to missionaries as the Lord’s servants who were special people. When I was four to six years old the communists took over China and all the missionaries had to leave. I grew up in England and various China missionaries mainly from OMF and the BMS came to stay in my home. They were very shell shocked and weary. I did not understand this as a small child but I did understand that they loved China. One of them showed me a tiny shoe which she said a grown up lady wore.

At this very young age I learned to love China. I collected autographs of these people and most of them wrote a Bible verse in Chinese in my album. It was a very impressionable mark in my life. As I grew older I loved science and engineering, played with building kits and remember how much I wanted a chemistry set but that was a “boy’s” toy as was an erector set - called Meccano in England. I remember drilling holes in my dollhouse to wire it with electric lights. I was soundly punished this was just after the world war and toys were passed down from relatives as they were hard to find. I thought dolls were silly much to my mother’s dismay who felt she needed to develop the nurturing side in me. But I took the dolls I received to pieces to see how they worked! I remember receiving a new doll and taking it to pieces after I had been warned that I must not break it. So from an early stage I was certainly drawn to science and math. Today I would be a STEM child. I went to a British state school until 11 when I won a scholarship to a British public school. ( A high quality private school) This was a girls school and the headmistress wanted to help us see that girls could do things just as much as boys. She was years ahead of her time. I was placed in the math and physics stream and took O and A levels in these areas. But I decided I wanted to be a missionary and wanted to study Theology. This was very much opposed by my headmistress. But I landed up going to Leeds University to study Theology.
 
Who else influenced your life and future direction?
 
When I was in Leeds I met the person who was most influential in my life apart from my parents. Dr Verna Wright was a professor and head of the medical school at Leeds University. Verna was a dynamic Christian who believed in evangelism and also believed in mentoring students to see how to become dedicated to the Lord. Until he died he wrote me at least two or three letters a year prayed for me and helped me not only in Leeds but in so many different ways. From Leeds I moved to London University and completed my BA and M.Div and my Graduate Teaching certificate (the equivalent of teacher licensure). By then I had applied to OMF to become a missionary. The mission board insisted that I work at teaching for a year so that I had experience before going overseas. During the OMF training I met many China veterans and my love for the Chinese only developed. I did the Wycliffe Bible Translators summer linguistics program and learned Thai for a week but during that time I heard not one tone. So my results came with a recommendation that I not be sent to a tonal area and definitely not learn Chinese. OMF did some other testing at the University of London and each time the response came back that I could hear no tones and should not learn a tonal language. This appeared to close the door to that world. OMF and I decided that I would go to Indonesia. But wonder of wonders I was sponsored by a Chinese church who spoke Indonesian. They wanted me to teach in their seminary. I learned the language and spent four years there. I came to America for my furlough and worked on a M.A. and a Ph.D.

When the time came back I was unable to return to Indonesia and landed up with an invitation to Johnson University –then Johnson Bible College where they asked me to develop a teacher education program. On my second visit to JBC the Dean of Students said he had something special at his house and maybe I would like to see it. This was 1978 and he had the first model I TRS-870 that came to Knoxville. Five minutes playing with that computer and I was hook. I saw so much potential for computers with children and have played with computer and robots and other things ever since. As a result of this we taught the first required course for computers for teachers in Tennessee, and finally developed an accredited program at the masters and ed specialist level in educational technology. Gradually I have worked more on more on ed tech until now I do that all the time.
 
What do you love about your present work? What project has you excited?
 
I love working with graduate students, particularly the Chinese graduate students. I am really interested in the use of Robots and coding in the elementary and middle school and in the potential of the makerspace concept in the development of creativity with elementary and middle school children.

 

I am also very interested in the integration of Bible in the STEM environment.
 
What inspires you to try new things?
 
I just love trying everything new that comes along. Having two advanced degrees in ed tech I have to make sure that my department keeps up with the developments in the field. This means that I will always be trying new things.
 
Tell me about the naming of the Templar School of Education in your honor.
 
Johnson University honored me by naming the school of education the Templar School of Education after the work the Lord had enabled me to do in the founding and developing of the educational program.
 
Perhaps another great reward comes from the success of your students?
 
I have no children of my own, but I have many graduates’ children around the world who call me granny. All I do is done for the Lord and to glorify Him. I try to mentor my students just as Verna Wright mentored me.


Dr. Templar working with Chinese graduate students
Credit: Wade Payne, Special to the News Sentinel
 
 
How did you become involved with robots?

In 1981 I first went to MIT for the LOGO conference sponsored by Papert. In the discussion at the end of the conference they were identifying groups that were not represented at the conference. A Jewish gentleman stood up and said one other group not represented was the religious minority. Papert said that if ever they presented a proposal it would be considered. On the plane on the way home I drafted a proposal for a study of the book of Philippians and the visits Paul made to Philippi in Acts to be worked by 4-6th grade students in LOGO and drama.
 
The proposal I submitted was accepted and the following year I showed a video in which the faculty and staff children on our campus presented the results of their study and work. It was watched by a professor from Toyama University in Japan who stopped me on the sidewalk after the session and invited me to come to his university and present the material, which I subsequently did. This work with LOGO was my early experience of coding and fine arts combined with young children.
 
Computer education moved away from the creative discovery approach to the use of computers with children favored by Seymour Papert and others, becoming much more structured. But the pendulum has swung back to the more creative discovery approach. I have run pilot programs and graduate classes with various robots for children, taught cad software (Tinkercad) to children as young as 3rd grade, and worked with them as they have seen the success of their 3D printed objects. 
 
I also have worked with professors from Anhui Normal University in China to help them develop makerspace and robotic courses for their masters programs in educational technology.  I have found that the opportunities to share with teachers both in America and China have expanded exponentially. After fifteen trips to China to teach in the area of educational technology and robotics I am settling down to teach the Chinese who come to me.  One of my graduates is following in my footsteps and going to China to teach this summer.

 

While I have worked for the majority of my professional life in some aspect of technology it has always been my desire to integrate the Lord, His Word, and His ways into the work I am doing.  I have never found this hard to do. The things we use in educational technology were created by the Lord, and in all things I seek to give glory to Him. 
 

 

Tags:  Chris Templar 

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Dinosaurs in Your Garden

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Friday, April 14, 2017

 

Archaeopteryx_fossil

Archaeopteryx fossil

By James L. Amos (National Geographic Society), via Wikimedia Commons

 

Did you explore science and religion when as a child? Lizzie Coyle encourages just that with her travelling bag of fossils. Lizzie is an evolutionary biologist and the youth and schools outreach officer for the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion. She is the Institute’s go-to girl for all things fossilized.

Read this interview Ruth Bancewicz did with Lizzie Coyle. 

 

Tags:  Lizzie Coyle  Ruth Bancewicz 

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Only $25,000 to Meet the Goal

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Monday, March 27, 2017

 

Pushing to the Finish Line!

God provided the ASA with two surprise grants: one directly from John Templeton Foundation and another one for STEAM (Science & Theology for Emerging Adult Ministries) from Fuller Theological Seminary and John Templeton Foundation. Both bolster our efforts in reaching students and young adults in our local chapters campaign. 


We are rejoicing in the Lord, giving thanks to God for his manifold blessings on our shared ministry.

Executive Director, Leslie Wickman, and I just returned from productive days in Bonita Springs and Fort Myers, Florida, and we will soon be spending time in Houston and Dallas, Texas, meeting and interacting with new and existing members within the ASA community. We have witnessed many transformed lives because of the work of the ASA.

Now we’re in the final week of our fiscal year, with approximately $25,000 left to raise by March 31, 2017. The ASA is a member-led and member-funded ministry and we rely on charitable contributions from our faithful members to fund 42% of our operating budget. To keep up the strong momentum, would you please consider an additional or first-time gift or pledge now?

Here are some ways to donate:
Check: ASA, 218 Boston Street, Suite 208, Topsfield, MA 01983
Credit Card: Click Here
Stock: Click Here

Your generous donation to the ASA will undoubtedly lead to significant life and ministry transformation; we hear personal testimonies to that effect on a regular basis. Thank you very much for your friendship and partnership!

With much gratitude,

Vicki L. Best
Director of Operations and Development
American Scientific Affiliation
218 Boston Street
Suite 208
Topsfield, MA  01983

Phone: 978.807.5189

Email: vicki@asa3.org

 

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The Bible Through the Lens of Anthropology

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

 

I extend an invitation to the members of Christian Women in Science to join the conversation at a new Facebook group The Bible and Anthropology

This international forum shares ideas, insights, discoveries, images, and documents that help the members gain a deeper understanding of the Bible through application of cultural anthropology. Anthropology degrees are not a prerequisite for participation! Share what you experience where you live and how the experience relates to Scripture. Help advance the scientific field of Biblical Anthropology.

Also, today I am celebrating the 10-year anniversary of my blog JUST GENESIS. If you have never visited the blog, please take a moment to look at the research there.

2017 ASA Annual Meeting

I ask your prayers for this research and for the up-coming Annual Conference in Golden, Colorado July 28-31. Go here to register for the conference.

 

Best wishes,

Alice C. Linsley

Tags:  Alice C. Linsley  anthropology 

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Call for Abstracts

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Thursday, January 19, 2017

 

Abstract for ASA 2017

Please consider submitting an abstract for presentation at the July Annual Meeting in Golden, Colorado. The deadline for submission is February 15, and is coming quickly!

See the call for abstracts link here.

The meeting is July 28-31 and many activities are planned. Check out the details here.

 

Tags:  annual meeting 

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“Hidden Figures” – A Must See for CWIS Members!

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Monday, January 16, 2017

 

By Lynn Billman

 

If you haven’t yet, be sure to go see “Hidden Figures,” a wonderful true-story movie about the black women mathematicians who worked for NASA in the early 1960s.  These women were key to the manual calculations for launches and orbits that had to be made in the early stages of the U.S. space program.  They were also critical to the early programming of the first IBM computers used by NASA, and one featured in the movie was the first female black engineer in NASA.  The movie is based on the book, “Hidden Figures – The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race,” by Margot Lee Shetterly, currently #1 on the New York Times best seller list (according to Amazon). 

 

The movie highlights very clearly the biases these women had to work against, both because they were women and because they were black.  As a couple scenes made clear, they were / are also Christians.  The patience, perseverance, and resourcefulness of these phenomenally smart women was incredibly inspiring, as they forced changes to cultural norms and were true pioneers.  As the epilogue showed at the end of the movie, their contributions were eventually recognized, praise God! 

 

I went with the three young women millennials in my family, and we had good laughs and sharing over coffee afterward as I recounted my own experiences in that era (yes, the white hair is well earned!) --  fumbling with decks of computer cards while learning Fortran, the realities of Jim Crow in Virginia in the early 1960s, the excitement of the entire nation at every event in the early space program, the sense of fear from Soviet progress with rockets in their space program that could threaten America.  Ah, the bad old days! 

 

So grab a friend and head for the theater.  I hope this movie will inspire you, and perhaps rekindle some sense of hope about America.

 

 

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Message from Lynn Billman

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Tuesday, January 3, 2017

 

Being the President of the ASA this year has been both a privilege and a challenge. What a year 2016 has been! ASA launched a whole new leadership team in 2016—retiring our former Executive Director Randy Isaac to Emeritus status, hiring Leslie Wickman as the new Executive Director, and expanding the responsibilities of Vicki Best as our Director of Operations and Development.

Leslie and Vicki also came on board in a particularly important year: the year of ASA’s 75th anniversary. To honor this “Diamond Jubilee” anniversary of the ASA, we had a wonderful annual conference at Azusa Pacific University in California, and several other special anniversary celebrations with members and friends across the country.

And now, we look forward to our next 75 years! Our new leaders continue to crisscross the country, helping start new local chapters, meeting members, and telling the ASA story. Together, the efforts of our staff and volunteers have borne great fruit for us. ASA has a larger membership than ever; more involvement by students; the best-attended conference in its history; new and incredibly rich information resources on the webpage; new chapters (including several in Canada, thanks to the great work of CSCA) and even some cautious optimism about our financial future, reflecting the stability of our financial model and the recent receipt of three modest grants as well as the generous support of our members.

Of course, spreading the word about the ASA isn’t confined to the paid staff, your Executive Council, and a few dedicated members. Spreading the word is important for each and every member. You know the benefits you have received by being a member. Maybe it’s getting a work-life question answered by someone you met at a conference or through the NEXUS online forum or the Christian Women in Science group. Maybe it’s a stimulating or thought-provoking article inPerspectives on Science and Christian Faith, or an inspiring story in God and Nature. Maybe it’s making a new contact at a local chapter meeting. Maybe it’s simply the encouragement you feel, just knowing that other Christians involved in science are there with you!

As you can tell, I am very enthusiastic about the ASA! And with that enthusiasm, I want to add my request to consider helping the ASA at year end with an additional financial contribution here. Yes, you’ve probably already paid your membership dues. But membership dues only cover about 24% of our annual operating expenses and we rely on charitable contributions to our annual fund to make up the difference. In addition, while fundraising for the capital campaign has gone very well, we still have a small balance to meet that goal. Of course, I deeply respect that you already contribute to your local church, and other worthy organizations. So do I. But if you are in position to make an additional gift to the ASA before December 31, we’d be most grateful.

May our precious Lord Jesus be front and center in your life and the lives of your loved ones this Christmas season. I also pray that God will be front and center in the life of our country, our community, and our ASA organization in 2017 as well.

Sincerely in Christ,      

Lynn Billman
ASA Executive Council President

 

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Ann Marie Thro: A Life of Service

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Saturday, December 31, 2016

 

Ann Marie Thro in consultation


Tatum Davis, Grade 8

STEM Education Student


Ann Marie Thro is a scientist whose experiences throughout her life have made her the exceptional person she is today. She was raised in a military family which meant frequent moves and exposure to new places and people.She is the oldest of three siblings. She is 67 years old and very active professionally. She is a member of the American Scientific Affiliation and a former board member of Christian Women in Science (CWIS). She enjoys gardening, hiking, and working with animals. She also enjoys reading, singing, and needlework.

Ann was raised a Catholic and she believes that this religious upbringing gave her an awareness of Christ’s love. She attended college during the “hippie era” and during those years she questioned many of the Church’s beliefs.

Ann began to question many things during the 1960s. She felt disappointment that different theories of reality presented by secular philosophies seemed empty. Philosophy was taught as a chronological flow of ideas, but not as a search for wisdom. No one attempted answers to the questions she was asking, and that left nothing. Still, Ann resisted the nihilism of her day. 

Several years later Ann became aware of the work of Dr. Francis Schaeffer, the director of the L'Abri community in Switzerland, founded in 1955. Dr. Schaeffer and his wife Edith were Christian theologians and philosophers whose writings from a Christian perspective interested Ann. So, desiring to travel, she went to L’Abri. She listened and found the Schaeffer’s analysis of Western culture to be convincing, but she was not willing to change her lifestyle.

She started praying again, wondering what God had for her future. She couldn’t find a job so she decided to return to school to “retool” for a future career. She completed some courses at a community college, and eventually found an assistantship in agricultural science. Her job prospects were good, but her heart was still stiff toward Jesus Christ.

Ann was drawn to plant breeding as a way to serve. When she first became involved in agriculture science there were relatively few women in the field. The numbers of women increased rapidly. Today there are many women in agricultural sciences. 

She received a PhD from Iowa State University where she was did research in plant breeding and genetics. She conducted research and developed teaching skills as associate professor of agronomy at Louisiana State University for 10 years.

In 2014, she became senior advisor for Plant Health Production and Products. Ann was in the National Institute for food and Agriculture. 

Plant breeding began in the 1800’s and is increasingly important today. Ann explains, “It is one of the few ways that humans can use new science to cope with many of the challenges that the world faces today: challenges such as population growth and the need for food that is both affordable and good for our health; and, challenges such as variable and extreme weather and climate, and the need to protect the environmental.



Simply defined, plant breeding is the human-aided development of new plant varieties, including new types of seeds that have needed characteristics. The basic steps involve the use of various methods, old and new, to make new, genetically-different plants, and then testing, and selecting among. 

When we read about new discoveries in sciences such as biology, nutrition, genetics, micro-biology, information science and computing, soil science, climate science, engineering, robotics, and others, plant breeding is the discipline that brings all of this knowledge together to produce the food that we eat and all the other types of plants that we use. Without plant breeding, most of this new science would remain interesting but theoretical. Plant breeding is one of the major pathways through which science reaches our table and our lives.”

Ann has worked on research and development projects in Congo (formerly Zaire), South America, and Afghanistan.

Ann Marie Thro has written, “As a Christian, I often ask the Lord to help me see where I can be most useful. When I want to ‘star’, I often end up being disappointed, but when I want to “serve”, the Lord has given me very satisfying work and opportunities. I enjoy the role of taking the initiative to look around, see things that need to be done, and get started. Often others then join in and carry on the work.

Seeking to be useful is a role that both men and women can take; yet it fits a woman’s role in every age – ancient and modern. In my own case, as a scientist, this has led me out of research because I found that others were more gifted. I found instead that I have a gift for research coordination. I am grateful to have been able to bring different researchers together into networks and projects. This benefits science and the public by creating opportunities to exchange good ideas, recruit young scientists, and search for funding. These are things that researchers value, but they are often too busy. That’s where I can help, as someone who understands the world of science, seeks to be useful, and enjoys creating connections and looking for opportunities.”

Plant breeding provides practical solutions to real needs. It allows us to share God’s enjoyment and marvel at the world’s plants and wonders of variation. We are living in the most exciting time in agricultural sciences since the rediscovery of Mendel, also a Christian.

 

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Agnes Giberne: A Lover of Science

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Tuesday, December 6, 2016

 

 

"Look at that dim star, shining through a powerful telescope with faint and glimmering light. We are told that in all probability the tiny ray left its home long before the time of Adam.
There is a strange solemnity in the thought. Hundreds of years ago - thousands of years ago - some say, even tens or hundreds of thousands of years ago! It carries us out of the little present into the unknown ages of a past eternity."--Agnes Giberne (The Story of the Sun, Moon, and Stars, p. 104, published in 1898)

Agnes Giberne was born in 1845 in the state of Karnataka, India, where her father was in military service. Major Charles Giberne was directly descended from the nobleman Jean De Giberne who migrated to England in the seventeenth century. Agnes acquired her interest in science and the natural world from her father.

Agnes acquired her literary interest from her mother, Lydia Mary Wilson. She began to pen stories at age 7. She was a prolific British author who wrote fiction with religious themes for children and books on science for young people. Most of her writing was done before 1910.

 

From Giberne's bookSun, Moon and Stars

 

In the nineteenth century it was unusual for a woman to be involved in astronomy. Yet, Giberne became one of the most popular astronomy writers of her time. Through her writings she was able to present basic astronomy to children and women in the Victorian Age.

She was interested in many branches of science. In 1890, she became a founding member of the British Astronomical Association. In addition to astronomy, she also wrote on geology, oceanography, and meteorology. 
 
Her book Sun, Moon and Stars: Astronomy for Beginners was first published in 1879. The foreword was written by Charles Pritchard, a professor of Astronomy at Oxford University. The book was printed in several edition and sold 24,000 copies in its first 20 years. She wrote a sequel titled Radiant Suns (1894).

These were but two of many books written by Giberne in which she made science accessible to children and beginners. Other volumes include The Starry SkiesThe World's Foundations (Geology for Beginners), This Wonderful Universe, and The Upward Gaze.
 
Agnes was a devout Anglican. She wrote with the Catechism in mind. Some of her works were written for the Religious Tract Society.

Agnes Giberne's prayer is quoted in over 100 books published in the early 20th century:
Gracious Saviour, gentle Shepherd,
Children all are dear to Thee;
Gathered with Thine arms and carried
In Thy bosom may we be;
Sweetly, fondly, safely tended,
From all want and danger free.
Tender Shepherd, never leave us
From Thy fold to go astray;
By Thy look of love directed
May we walk the narrow way;
Thus direct us, and protect us,
Lest we fall an easy prey.‎
 
Agnes lived most of her life at 25 Lushington Road in Eastbourne, United Kingdom. She died 20 August 1939, at age  93.

 

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