Welcome to the 31st installment of the You Should Know Series. Each week I give my own #ScholarSunday salute to Scientists, Engineers, Science Communicators, and Science Educators.  I'm in Tanzania for field research and I am expanding this series to highlight the innovators from Africa and those doing research on this great continent. This is the third edition in the #AfricanSTEM series.

Introducing... Fr. Jean-Baptiste Kikwaya, Ph.D.

Fr. Dr. Jean-Baptiste Kikwaya is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, but is currently a staff Astronomer at the Vatican Observatory Research Group. Perhaps not common knowledge to the wider public, but the Vatican Observatory is a pre-eminent scientific astronromical research, education, and outreach organization.

Fr. Dr. Kikwaya spent years teaching school in the DRC before being called to the priesthood. He joined the Society of Jesus in the Province of Central Africa and was later ordained into the priesthood. He holds a BS in Celestial Mechanics (University of Namur, Belgium) and a BA in Theology (Sevres Centre, France). Fr. Dr. Kikwaya's dissertation, Bulk density of small meteoroids examined both the astrometry and photometry of meteoroids (University of Western Ontario).

Image source: Vatican Observatory

Fr. Dr. Kikwaya's area of expertise includes Celestial mechanics, asteroids, meteors, and science education. He is also an active member of the International Astronomical Union and serves on several committees including Education and Outreach service committess. Learn more about Fr. Dr. Kikwaya's research here and here.

You can also follow the @VaticanObsFound on Twitter, to learn more about the research Fr. Dr. Kikwaya and other Astronomers do at this amazing institution.


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