Fleming Group     


Fraser Fleming, Ph.D.
Professor and Head of Department
Drexel University
Department of Chemistry
306 Disque Hall
Philadelphia PA 19104
Email: fff27@drexel.edu
Tel: 215-895-2644

View an excerpt here. Used with Permission of Wipf and Stock Publishers.
Available from the publisher and on Amazon.

Science and Religion: From the BIG Bang to Neuroscience

A. Work History

Professor and Head of Department Drexel University 2015-present
Program Director - Chemistry National Science Foundation 2013-2015  
Visiting Professor Goteborg University 2010 Summer  
Visiting ProfessorLudwig-Maximilians-University2010 Spring 
Professor of ChemistryDuquense University2007-2015 
Visiting ProfessorLudwig-Maximilians-University2006 Spring 
Visiting ProfessorLudwig-Maximilians-University2003 Spring 
Associate Professor of ChemistryDuquesne University1999-2007 
Assistant Professor of ChemistryDuquesne University1992-1999 
Post-doctoral fellowOregon State University1990-1992 
Killam Graduate FellowUniversity of British Columbia1986-1990 

B. Education

Oregon State UniversityJames D. WhitePost doctoral advisor 1990-1992 
Developed a new macrolactonization method and worked on pyrrolizidine alkaloid synthesis.
University of British ColumbiaEdward PiersPh.D. 1986-1990 
Developed a palladium-catalyzed coupling route to alkenenitriles and used the chemistry in an organostannane-based synthesis of the clerodane diterpenoid stephalic acid.
Massey University (New Zealand)John AyersB.S. Hons 1986 
Developed a guanidine-based ion exchange resin with potential use for isolating heparin from natural sources.

C. Personal Background

Born in the rural town of Waipawa, located in sunny Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, I lived most of my early years in the adjacent town of Waipukurau. An early interest in science was kindled at home through a childhood filled with mechanical adventures including go-karting, motorbikes, and the infamous chemistry kit. At school this love of making things work translated into an interest in science which later coalesced into an intense interest in chemistry. I have a strong interest in helping others which focused my early interest in chemistry on the synthesis of medicines which I pursued at Massey University, located about 70 miles from Waipukurau.

In the early 80's the Chemistry Department at Massey University integrated chemistry within the university's historic focus on agricultural problems. Typical of this biologically oriented program were the projects offered for Honors students. I began a project whose aim was to design an affinity exchange resin capable of selectively extracting the anti-coagulant Heparin, from animal offal (leading to the infamous pigs liver extraction) commonly available in New Zealand! From this background I moved to the University of British Columbia for a Ph. D. with Professor Edward Piers, one of Canada's leading organic chemists and an outstanding teacher. After 4 ˝ delightful years of natural product synthesis, developing new nitrile chemistry, and sampling the beauty of Canada's wilderness areas, camping, canoeing, hiking, yachting, I moved to Corvallis, Oregon. My post-doctoral appointment with James White, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, at Oregon State University focused on indolizidine synthesis but also involved a joint radiolabeling project with veterinary scientists. Two years later, after numerous synthetic adventures, and a few outdoor adventures too, I moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and began an independent academic career at Duquesne University.

D. Science and Christianity

An early interest in science and a strong interest Christianity stimulated what has become a life-long quest to understand the relationship of science with Christianity. I am a member of the American Scientific Affiliation and I regularly review books in science and religion for the journal Perspectives on Science and Christianity. I have taught several classes in the area of science and religion both as university courses and as short courses for general church audiences.

I am a founding member of the "Christian Academic Fellowship" - CAFÉ - an independent university organization whose mission lies in ". . . integrating our spiritual beliefs and values into our various roles in the university community." As moderator for CAFÉ I was involved in several book studies (Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling by James Sire, and A Christian Critique of the University by Charles Malik), organizing yearly retreats, and organizing university presentations (Medicine and Compassion in Early Christianity by Dr. Gary Ferngren, 2000; A Role for the Catholic University in the 21st Century by Dr. Jim Sire, 2001; The Big Bang, Stephen Hawking and God by Dr. Fritz Schaefer, 2005; and Science vs. Belief? The Challenge of Naturalism by Terence Nichols). My interest in integrating Christianity into an academic vocation has led to occasional lectures on the topic at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and to academics in Germany and Poland during sabbatical visits.