Jan. 15, 2016 - Historian and philosopher of science Dr. Marvin Bolt will deliver two free public lectures on Thursday, Feb. 18, in the Burke Auditorium at King’s College. The lectures are sponsored by The McGowan Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility at King’s.

In the 4 p.m. lecture “The Art of the First Scientific Instruments: Looking through - and at - the World’s Oldest Telescopes,” Dr. Bolt will discuss the invention of the telescope and how the invention quickly led to discoveries that turned views of the universe upside down and inside out. He will also discuss the optical, physical, and artistic elements of the world’s oldest telescopes.     

In the 7 p.m. lecture, titled “Saving your life: When Scientific Reasoning and Moral Wisdom Turn Urgent,” Dr. Bolt will raise questions such as: “Am I endangered more by a friend or by a foreign terrorist?” “Which is a bigger threat: My neighbor’s gun or pool?” and “Am I more likely to die of heart disease or cancer?” As he explores methods for finding answers to each of these questions, he will draw upon personal experience to consider how individuals can develop knowledge, critical thinking skills, and the wisdom to learn how to live well.

After earning his bachelor’s degree from Calvin College, Bolt taught math, physics, computer science, and Bible at Sunnyside Christian High School in Washington. He earned master’s degrees in the history and philosophy and his doctorate in history at the University of Notre Dame. 

Dr. Bolt worked as an historian of astronomy for 17 years at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, where he also served as Vice President of Collections. Since 2013, Dr. Bolt has served as the first Curator of Science and Technology at the Corning Museum of Glass. The National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities support his investigations of the world’s oldest surviving telescopes from 1608 through the 1750s.

In case of inclement weather, the lecture will be rescheduled for 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, in the Burke Auditorium. 

The Burke Auditorium is located in the William G. McGowan School of Business on North River Street. Parking will be available in on-campus lots. For more information, please contact Dr. Bernard Prusak, director, McGowan Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility, at (570) 208-5900, ext. 5689.