Guillermo Gonzalez Takes Astronomy Post at Grove City College
Noted astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, whose academic freedom was trampled at Iowa State University for being a proponent of intelligent design theory, has taken a new teaching and research position as an associate professor in the physics department at Grove City College in Pennsylvania. Grove City College is a completely independent, Christian, liberal arts college that is ranked among some of the best colleges and universities in the nation.
Gonzalez will oversee the College's new observatory, acquired from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. According to the College, there are plans for the remote structure to be the basis for an astronomy minor as well as to be used for faculty and student research. The observatory is about an hour's drive north of Grove City and houses a robotic 20-inch telescope, which will be remotely operable.
Generous donations from Discovery Society supporters have helped build a base of financial support for Dr. Gonzalez to continue his cosmological research. Gonzalez will both teach and have time to continue his research, especially during the summers. He plans to use the observatory to study photometric variations of sun-like stars to determine if the Sun's level of variation is exceptional. And, also to observe transits of planets orbiting other stars. Other research will make use of computer simulations.
"Having ready access to a state-of-the-art robotic telescope will make it more likely that I can obtain useful data," says Gonzalez. "In addition, I plan to continue observing at McDonald Observatory in west Texas at least once a year."
"Astronomical observations related to astrobiology or comparison of the Solar System's properties to other planetary systems serve to test the Privileged Planet thesis," added Gonzalez. "Any research relating to the Privileged Planet thesis is relevant to ID."