The Vatican Observatory will host a conference next week to discuss black holes, gravitational waves, and space-time singularities.

Leaders of the Vatican Observatory announced the 2024 Lemaître Conference during a press conference on June 11. This event honors Msgr. Georges Lemaître, the Belgian Jesuit who developed the Big Bang theory.

Renowned physicists, including Nobel laureates Adam Riess and Roger Penrose, will gather near Rome to tackle unresolved mysteries of the cosmos. “We have put together a dream team that we vehemently hope will lead to some innovative thinking,” said theoretical physicist Fabio Scardigli.

The conference aims to foster dialogue between experts in cosmology and quantum theory. Br. Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory, said the institution has a unique position as a neutral ground for scientific discussion. “In the field of cosmology, where we are so much aware of what we do not know, there is an openness to reflect on why there is something instead of nothing.”

The conference is expected to draw around 40 people in-person, with another 150 remotely. They will meet with Pope Francis on June 19, where he may deliver remarks.

“Truth is the goal, and for those of us who believe that God is the truth, exploring the truth leads us closer to God,” Consolmagno said.

Photo credit: Andrea Danti /
Get our inspiring content delivered to your inbox every morning - FREE!