Western Brook Pond, Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland. (Photo by Mark McEwan, June 2018)

Q&A #50 – Helen Lau (26 December 2023)

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For the past 50 years, the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation has facilitated discussions about science and Christian faith in Canada. As part of our 50th-anniversary celebrations, we asked 50 CSCA members to comment on their personal connections to science, scripture, and Canadian scenery. We will share these contributions throughout 2023 in the hope that you will find them engaging and encouraging.

CSCA member of the week: Helen Lau, Geoscientist at Dalhousie University.

1. Why did you choose your scientific discipline?

The seed was planted a long time ago when I was in high school in Hong Kong. I remember seeing rows of rock specimens displayed inside wooden and glass cabinets. It seemed like someone put those there a long time ago, but nobody cared about them anymore. I decided that someday I would find out myself what those rocks are. I first chose geology as major but later figured out that I was bad with names. Since I was very good in math and physics, I ended up being a geophysicist, specializing in plate tectonics. Of course, there were spiritual reasons too, which still ring true. By studying the earth in its previous form hundreds of millions years ago, before any human being even existed, I can truly appreciate the beauty of the God of ages waiting all these years for His creative works be made known by His creations.

2. What is one of your favourite Bible verses and why?

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

—James 3:17

Wisdom from above contrasts with bitter jealousy and selfish ambition. Although scientists seek truth every day, too many allow bitter jealousy and selfish ambition ruin their lives along the way. It is my prayer that God keeps purity and kindness in our calling as Christians in science.

3. Which Canadian city or landscape do you love exploring and why?

I like to explore St. John’s and Newfoundland as a whole. It’s a place full of character and tectonic history.

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