It happened on JULY 20


J. Gregor Mendel was born in Hyncice (present-day Czech Republic). He was an Austrian-Czech botanist, meteorologist, and geneticist. An Augustinian monk, he was an avid enthusiast in the field of natural science as applied to agriculture. Through scientific experiments and observations of the hybridization of pea plants, he developed a theory that contained the foundation of classic genetics (Experiments in Plant Hybridization, 1865) but which did not elicit the interest of the scientific community of his time.

Guglielmo Marconi died in Rome. He was a self-taught scientist who, using some research and instruments developed by Augusto Righi and Temistocle Calzecchi Onesti, created the first wireless radiotelegraph system. In December 1901, he transmitted the first transatlantic electromagnetic signal. In 1909, he won the Nobel Prize in Physics. He was also the first president of Italy’s National Research Council. Of a militant and entrepreneurial temperament, Marconi contributed to an awareness that scientific research should move toward global development instead of simply taking place in localized laboratory experiments.
Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon. Just afterward, the lunar module Eagle from the Apollo 11 space shuttle softly touched down on the moon’s surface. Edwin Aldrin climbed down from it, while the third astronaut, Michael Collins, rotated around the moon in the command module. The words transmitted by Armstrong to the whole world were, “That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

On the way to the Moon: memories and documents 50 years later

The Descent of Man on the Moon: Some Historical Images

D. F. Noble, The Ascent of the Saints: Space Exploration (1997)

Von Braun said: "Human space travel is God's will", from an interview by Oriana Fallaci (1965)

Paul VI, General Audience, 23 July 1969

Paul VI, Message delivered to the Astronauts of Apollo 11, July 1969

Jacques Arnould, Astronautics, from INTERS Encyclopedia

Giuseppe Reibaldi, Next Stop in Space: the Moon (2019)

Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science

The Encyclopedia, published by the Centro di Documentazione Interdisciplinare di Scienza e Fede operating at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, provides new, scholarly articles in the rapidly growing international field of Religion and Science (ISSN: 2037-2329).

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Anthology and Documents

In order to make some relevant documents better known in the scientific community, the section provides key materials for study and reflection concerning the dialogue among science, philosophy, and theology.

Special Issues

We offer here a selection of Comments and Documents on special issues on Religion and Science, collected for anniversaries and/or for the relevance of the topics.