PLNU Hosted the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation

Friday, July 20, 2012

The 67th Annual Meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) took place from July 20 through July 23, 2012, on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University, in San Diego, Calif. The ASA was founded in 1941 as a fellowship of scientists and engineers who share a common fidelity to the Word of God and a commitment to integrity in the practice of science. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Science, Faith, and the Media: Communicating beyond Books.” The meeting was open to the public; registration was online at

The plenary sessions featured the following speakers:

Jack Johnson –Professor, Department of Molecular Biology, Laboratory of Structural Virology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA

Dean Nelson –Journalism Professor, Point Loma Nazarene University, coauthor of Quantum Leap: How John Polkinghorne Found God in Science and Religion

Chris Perez –Public relations and interactivemarketing counselor and educator

Rebecca Ver Straten-McSparran –Philosopher, theologian, instructor, and director of the Los Angeles Film Studies Center

Ralph Winter –Producer of four X-Men, Star Trek III, IV, V & VI, two Fantastic Fours, Cool It, Left Behind, and Mother Mary of Christ

On Saturday, a panel of experts addressed the topic, “So You Have an Idea for a Movie: Process, Opportunities, Pitfalls, and Profound Stories.” Moderated by Rebecca Ver Straten-McSparran, the panelists included Dean Batali, Charles B. Slocum, Korey Pollard, and Christina Lee Storm. 

The featured symposia and sessions were the following: BehavioralSciences and Humanities; Christian Views on Science and Faith; Christians and Science in Film; Communicating Earth Science to the Public: Opportunities and Pitfalls; Information, Genetics, and the Origin of Life; Personal Branding and Social Media; Poster Session; Resources for Dialogue and Engagement in Science and Faith; Science, Faith, Engineering, and Appropriate Technologies; Science and Faith: History, Philosophy, and Theology; Teaching Science and Faith in the Curriculum; Why Public Relations Matters. 

Two workshops were offered on Friday: (1) “Christianity and the Scientific Revolution,” led by Ted Davis, professor of the history of science, Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania; and (2) “Coming out Christian Online,” led by Pamela Gay, astronomer, writer, and podcaster who focused on using new media to engage people in science and technology.

On Saturday evening the movie From the Dust, was shown featuring world-renowned theologians, scientists, physicists, authors, and educators. Its mission is to re-open a candid dialogue of science and faith. The viewing was followed by a panel discussion. 

A Sunday morning worship service took place in Crill Performance Hall from 9 to 10 a.m. and was led by Reverend Mark Trotter, retired Senior Minister of First United Methodist Church (San Diego) and current Preacher in Residence at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Paul (San Diego). 

More information about the conference, including the full conference schedule and registration information, plus next year's conference information, is available at