The 2021 St. Albert Award of the Society of Catholic Scientists was given to Lawrence M. Principe in recognition of his scholarly work on the history of science and for his contributions to the public understanding of the historical relation between religion and science.
Lawrence M. Principe received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Indiana University and his Ph.D. in the History of Science from Johns Hopkins University. He is the Drew Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University and Professor in both the Department of History of Science and Technology and the Department of Chemistry there. He is also Director of the Charles Singleton Center for the Study of Premodern Europe. He has written or edited eleven books and published numerous scholarly papers. His main studies concern the early history of chemistry, and he is recognized as one of the foremost experts on the history of alchemy. He was the first recipient of the Francis Bacon Medal by the California Institute of Technology for significant contributions to the history of science. His book Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry was awarded the Pfizer Award by the History of Science Society in 2005. In 2016, he received the Franklin-Lavoisier Prize in Paris from the Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie and the Chemical Heritage Foundation.
Prof. Principe has written and lectured widely on the historical relationship between science and religion. No one has done more to dispel the widely held myth of perennial science-religion warfare. Of particular note is his 12-lecture audio course entitled “Science and Religion”, which he recorded for The Great Courses series of the Teaching Company in 2006. These lectures treat their subject with the comprehensiveness, depth, balance and accuracy, while being broadly accessible, lucid, and entertaining.