Miller to receive Laetare Medal

The University of Notre Dame has named Kenneth Miller, professor of biology at Brown, the 2014 recipient of the Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor among American Catholics. The medal will be conferred at Notre Dame’s commencement May 18. “Kenneth Miller has given eloquent and incisive witness both to scientific acumen and religious belief,” said the Rev. John I. Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, in an announcement on Laetare Sunday, March 30, 2014. "As an accomplished biologist and an articulate believer, he pursues two distinct but harmonious vocations and illustrates how science and faith can mutually flourish.” Miller studies cell and molecular biology and has written and spoken frequently on the compatibility of science, including evolution, and faith. “I’m surprised and overwhelmed at being included in the list of distinguished individuals who have received the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame,” Miller said. “My first reaction is to regard this not so much a personal honor as a powerful statement by one of America’s great Catholic universities in support of the value and integrity of science. I’ve been asked, on many occasions, what the Church and its leaders might think of those who have spoken out in defense of core scientific ideas such as evolution and the big bang. My answer has always been that I have found nothing but support from the Church and its great educational and research institutions, including Notre Dame. Within that context, I feel humbled and especially honored to be named as a Laetare recipient.”