John J. Reilly Center for Science,
Technology, and Values
The University’s John J. Reilly Center for Science,
Technology, and Values was established in 1985. It is named
for the father of an alumnus whose gift created the initial
endowment for the Center. The Center’s first academic
initiative, an undergraduate minor Program in Science, Technology,
and Values, was launched in 1986 with the aid of a three-year
start-up grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Since then the Reilly Center has received external financial
support for many programs and activities from the National
Science Foundation as well as the NEH. In addition, the
Lilly Endowment, the Hazen Endowment for Excellence, the
Templeton Foundation, and the former GTE Foundation have
also generously supported the work of the Center.
In keeping with the University’s mission as a preeminent
Catholic university, the Center endeavors to make a distinctive
contribution to the humanistic understanding of science
and technology. The Center is committed to advancing our
knowledge (a) of science and technology as human, knowledge-producing
endeavors, and (b) of the variety of ways these rapidly
changing institutions affect and are, in turn, influenced
by society at large.
Through conferences and publications emphasizing the complementary
roles of scientific, technological, ethical, and theological
perspectives, the Center seeks to disseminate outstanding
work reflecting the vital interplay of these viewpoints,
as well as to inform and stimulate broad public discussion
of critical issues. At the Center, faculty, students and
visiting scholars are engaged in research, individually
and collectively, on topics spanning the fields of science
and technology studies. Within the larger Notre Dame community,
the Center endeavors to foster a greater awareness of the
significance and complexity of interactions among science,
technology, and society.
The center maintains offices at 309 O’Shaughnessy Hall and is directed by Prof. Gerald McKenny (theology). Prof. Don Howard (philosophy) serves as director of the Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science, and Prof. Sheri Alpert) is acting director of the Science, Technology, and Values academic minor program. A Center Advisory Board, comprised of distinguished alumni, scholars, and individuals in public life, assists the Center with long-range planning. A group of elected Faculty Fellows of the Reilly Center is responsible for operational oversight of all Center programs.