Saturday, May 10, 2014

A scientist testifies to God's grace

Last week I really enjoyed reading Witness to Grace, the brief autobiography of John Goodenough. I knew of him for his scientific work in solid-state physics and chemistry because some of it overlaps with my research. He is best known for inventing lithium rechargeable batteries. Although aged 91 he is still publishing papers!

The book mixes his spiritual history with his scientific career. He came from a family that had a church background but his parents "outgrew" religion, seeing it as a superstitious and psychological crutch. His father was a Professor of the history of religion at Yale University, and studied at Harvard Divinity School and received a D.Phil. from Oxford. But experiences while a student at Groton school eventually led to him becoming a follower of Jesus, while working on a Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Chicago. His family was not impressed.

The scientific parts of the book may not be accessible to some readers, without the necessary background! Nevertheless, it is a compelling story and a moving witness to the grace of God, as revealed in Jesus.

Update (October 2019). Goodenough was just awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. His autobiography is now out of print. However, most of it can be read on Google books. For readers at UQ there is a hard copy in the library.

In a TV interview he is asked ``What are you most proud of?'' and mentions ``Witness to Grace".


  1. Lovely testimony to follow through

  2. Really worth reading.Nice and blessed testimony. All glory to our loving mighty Father.

  3. Praise Lord We are proud of you Sir.

  4. Hi, i am trying to get a copy of the book but cant find it. Its available on amazon for a little under $1000. Any suggestions please would be appreciated. Tks