How Do You Talk About Faith with Secular Colleagues?

Sometimes starting conversations about faith with academic colleagues can be challenging. Physics researcher Bob Kaita shares a story about how his academic knowledge and networks and a little creativity helped serve his community and open the door for thoughtful conversations about faith.

Read the full article here on the ESN Blog.


We are delighted to include in this year's program a contribution from Dr. Robert Kaita. Dr. Kaita [Bob Kaita] is wrapping up 4 decades of dedicated service in the academy.  He has not only made outstanding contributions to the advancement of his disciplinary specialty through his research, but he has successfully guided many Ph.D. students through the rigors of advanced study and degree completion. He is well known for his personal concern for and wise counsel to those he mentors. Throughout his tenure in the academy he has sustained a clear Christian testimony and has often shared his perspectives on integrating a living faith and disciplinary excellence with groups on various campuses. He will be sharing some reflections on this journey of faith in the world of academia at the conference. Additional information on his work in plasma physics is provided below.

Dr. Robert Kaita is a physicist in the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) at Princeton University. At PPPL, he is Head of Boundary Physics Operations for the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U). This device is the largest of its kind for fusion energy research. He is also Co-Principal Investigator for the Lithium Tokamak Experiment (LTX), which is the world’s only tokamak with a liquid lithium wall completely surrounding the plasma. Dr. Kaita’s present focus is on plasma-surface interactions and the use of liquid metals as “first-wall” materials for fusion reactors. In the Graduate Program in Plasma Physics of the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University, Dr. Kaita has supervised the research of a large number of doctoral students. He is a fellow of the American Physics Society, and a recipient of the Kaul Prize for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research and Technology Development for pioneering work in the use of liquid lithium metal as a renewable wall for fusion devices. Dr. Kaita is a fellow and past president of the American Scientific Affiliation, the nation’s largest organization of Christians in science and engineering. He also serves as the faculty advisor for the Princeton Graduate Christian Fellowship.  Dr. Kaita holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from SUNY – Stony Brook, and a Ph.D. in Experimental Nuclear Physics from Rutgers University.

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