Professor John Pilbrow is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Monash University.

Professor Pilbrow’s research career has mainly involved applications of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) to problems in condensed matter physics, inorganic chemistry and biochemistry. From a physics perspective he has been concerned with the implications of low symmetries and the effects resulting from sweeping the magnetic field and not the radiation frequency. Within inorganic chemistry he has been concerned for more than 40 years in using EPR spectroscopy as a tool for distance measurement in dimer complexes, something that later became relevant in studies of metal proteins, and recently in a collaboration involving the ABeta-peptide in an Alzheimer’s Dementia project. In collaboration with chemists and biochemists He has been concerned with the properties of paramagnetic metal ions in biomolecules, beginning with some studies of B12 [a cobalt co-enzyme] nearly 40 years ago.

Since retirement at the end of 2000, Prof. Pilbrow’s research has been in collaboration with colleagues in the Chemistry Departments at Monash and Melbourne Universities and with a research project managed through the Mental Health Institute at Melbourne University. Work on transition metal ions in glasses with emphasis on the lack of local symmetry, on the one hand, and use of pulsed EPR methods, on the other, was completed with the thesis of his last PhD student, S.C. Drew, in 2002. Current collaborations involve investigations of the electronic properties of cluster molecules [Mo18, W18, Fe7 and Cu4]. These are tackled by a variety of techniques at temperatures as low as 2K and using a combination of CW-EPR and pulsed EPR.

In his science-religion work, Prof. Pilbrow seeks to make sense of the different experiences of living in this universe both as a convinced Christian and as a passionate scientist. Particular interests include the relevance of space-time in relativity to Christian notions of eternity, resurrection and eschatology and seeking to understand what we may discern about divine action from modern science, without falling into the trap of ‘God of the Gaps’. Prof. Pilbrow seeks to dialogue with those from a wide variety of Christian traditions on issues of science and faith and to seek to build bridges between different groups of people seeing developments in modern science in a positive light.

Professor Pilbrow is a past President of the Australian Institute of Physics; he is a Fellow of the International EPR Society; and he was recipient of the 1998 Royal Society of Chemistry ESR Group Bruker Prize. He is currently President of ISCAST Ltd (Institute for the Study of Christianity in an Age of Science and Technology).

Selected Publications

Items 1 & 2 may be found on the ISCAST Website

  • Pilbrow, J.R. The Impact of Einstein’s Relativity on Christian Thought, ISCAST On-Line Journal, Vol 1, July 2005.
  • Day, A.J. and Pilbrow, J.R. Chapter 6 in “Notes on Science and Christian Belief” [based on ISCAST-Ridley College Lecture Courses in 1997 & 1999] (Revised Edition 2001), Edited by Allan J Day, Ridley College, Melbourne. Published by ISCAST(Vic) 58 Koonawarra Street , Clayton, Vic. 3168, AUSTRALIA. ISBN 0 9578934 0 X Copyright © 2001, ISCAST(Vic)
  • Pilbrow, John [2005] ‘Two Religions on Science‘. CASE [Quarterly Magazine of the Centre for Apologetic Scholarship and Education, New College, University of NSW] 8, 24-25. Review of ‘God Life and the Cosmos: Christian and Islamic Perspectives’ Eds. Ted Peters, Muzaffar Iqbal and Syed Noanui Haq. Ashgate UK 2004 [ISBN 0-7546-0883-2]
  • Pilbrow, John [2003] Zadok Perspectives No. 79, 26-28. Review of Three Volume Science and Theology Series, Australian Theological Forum:
    • God, life and intelligence in the universe. Editors: Terency J Kelly SJ and Hilary Regan, ATF Science and Theology Series: One [2002].ISBN 0 9586399 6 5
    • Interdisciplinary perspectives on cosmology & biological evolution. Editors: Hilary Regan and Mark Worthing, ATF Science and Theology Series: Two [2002]. ISBN 0 9586399 9X
    • Habitat of Grace: Biology, Christianity and the Global Environmental Crisis. Carolyn King, ATF Science and Theology Series: [Three 2002]. ISBN 0 958639981.

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