The provost of The Catholic University of America is one of four people named on Monday, April 20, to serve on the National Science Board.
Dr. Aaron Dominguez, who is also a physics professor at the school, was appointed by President Donald Trump to the National Science Board for a six-year term.
The National Science Board is a committee established in 1950 to advise the White House and Congress on matters related to science and engineering. It is responsible for the policies of the National Science Foundation. Past board members include members of academia as well as executives in the technology fields.
Dominguez, a particle physicist, told CNA he was "really grateful" for the opportunity.
"I am really humbled by this opportunity to serve the president, Congress and our nation, especially at this time," he said.
"Coincidentally, today was also our university's Research Day, where we showcase the great research and creative work done by our students and faculty."
"This event, and this nomination to the National Science Board, are beautiful examples of our mission to serve the nation and the Church as a Catholic research university," Dominguez said. "I am very thankful."
He explained in a profile published by the university how his Catholic faith impacts his teaching and research.
“The universe has evolved in a way that is perfect for you and me to exist. Mathematically, physically, we have this perfect situation where atoms can exist, stable matter can exist, which means we can have stars, more complicated elements, you and me,” he said.
“And if you were to change a few things in the physics equations or in the physical constants, that wouldn’t be true. I see the hand of God everywhere, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn't still try to understand the physics and mathematics behind that. In fact, we should be searching because of this.”
University President John Garvey called the inclusion of Dominguez on the Board “a proud moment for The Catholic University of America,” and said he was “deserving of the nomination” and an internationally recognized expert in his field.
Dominguez “is an accomplished particle physicist and an experienced researcher who leads a team in the construction of the next generation of particle detectors at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland,” said Garvey.
Garvey told CNA that Dominguez is “a man of great faith, who lives out the mission of Catholic University,” and that “we are proud to have him serving as our provost.”
Dominguez was promoted to university provost in 2019, having previously been the dean of the University’s School of Arts and Sciences.
In his address to the 2016 Freshman Convocation, Dominguez said that his position at the school was his “dream job,” and that he was thrilled he was able to work in a laboratory and explore the origins of the universe.
Dominguez has highlighted the importance of faith in academic life, calling Catholic University “a place where I can be truly free. I can unite faith and reason, science and the church, academia and the search for truth in one place.”
At the time of his arrival at Catholic, he called the university “a place where we can be free to do this together, you and me, without fear; to have these discussions in class, in our studies, in the cafeteria, in symposia, in cafes,” he said.