Plenary Speakers

Stephen M. Barr

Stephen M. Barr
Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Delaware

Stephen M. Barr is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Delaware and former Director of its Bartol Research Institute. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton University. Prof. Barr is the President of the Society of Catholic Scientists, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Prof. Barr is the author of The Believing Scientist: Essays on Science and Religion (Eerdmans, 2016), A Student's Guide to Natural Science (ISI Press, 2006), and Modern Physics and Ancient Faith (Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 2003). Prof. Barr's research is in theoretical particle physics, especially grand unified theories, theories of CP violation, neutrino oscillations, and particle cosmology. A 1990 paper he co-authored showed how "dark matter" and ordinary ("baryonic") matter may have been generated by the same processes in the early universe.


Thea James

Thea L. James
Vice President of Mission and Associate Chief Medical Officer
Boston Medical Center

Thea James, MD, is Vice President of Mission and Associate Chief Medical Officer at Boston Medical Center (BMC). She is the Director of BMC Violence Intervention Advocacy Program and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. James has primary responsibility for coordinating and maximizing BMC’s relationships and strategic alliances with local, state, and national organizations to foster innovative and effective models of care that are essential for patients and communities to thrive. Integrating upstream interventions into BMC’s clinical care models are critical in achieving equity and health.

Dr. James’ passion is domestic and global public health. Dr. James served on the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine 2009-2012 as chair of the Licensing Committee. As the Supervising Medical Officer on the Boston Disaster Medical Assistance Team under the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. James has deployed to New York City post 9/11; New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005; Bam, Iran after the 2003 earthquake; and Port-Au-Prince, Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

Globally, she and colleagues have worked with local partners in Haiti and Africa to conduct sustainable projects. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Equal Health, an organization that supports sustainable medical and nursing education systems in Haiti.

She was awarded the Boston Public Health Commission’s 2008 Mulligan Award for public service; the Suffolk County District Attorney’s 2012 Role Model Award, and the Schwartz Center 2014 Compassionate Care Award. She received The Boston Business Journal Healthcare Hero Award in 2012 and 2015. The Boston Chamber of Commerce awarded Dr. James the Pinnacle Award in 2015 and she was a 2019 Massachusetts Public Health Association Health Equity Champion. In 2020, Dr. James received the American College of Emergency Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award; a History Maker Award from The History Project; and the inaugural Thea James Social Emergency Medicine Award from the American College of Emergency Physicians.

A graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine, Dr. James trained in Emergency Medicine at Boston City Hospital, where she was a chief resident.

Nancey Murphy

Nancey Murphy
Senior Professor of Christian Philosophy
Fuller Theological Seminary

Nancey Murphy is Senior Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary. She received her Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, and her Th.D. from The Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. Prof. Murphy has been a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Berkeley, a National Science Foundation Fellow, and was a member of the Planning Committee for conferences on science and theology sponsored by the Vatican Observatory. Her first book, Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning (Cornell University Press, 1990), received awards from the Templeton Foundation and the American Academy of Religion. Her most recent books include A Philosophy of the Christian Religion for the Twenty-First Century (SPCK, 2018) and, with W. S. Brown, Did My Neurons Make Me Do It?: Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Moral Responsibility and Free Will (Oxford, 2007). She is Research Professor at the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague, and is an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren.