Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 91 - August 2013
1. St Petersburg course
2. Faraday summer course
3. Ruth Bancewicz activities
4. LASAR news
5. November course in Southampton
6. November reception
7. New book by Jonathan Moo and Bob White
8. Test of Faith news
9. Smartphone app for androids
10. UAB essay competition
1. At the end of June representatives from The Faraday Institute (Dr Rodney Holder, Dr Hilary Marlow, Prof Keith Fox) travelled to the beautiful city of St Petersburg, Russia to take part in a three-day conference entitled ‘Science and Religion: Exploring Issues at the Interface of Life’s Major Realities’. The course was a collaboration between The Faraday Institute and the St Petersburg School of Religion and Philosophy, whose Rector, Dr Natalia Pecherskaya, had planned a stimulating programme of lectures and discussions as well as a series of cultural events in the evenings. The conference attracted about 40 delegates, mainly academics, from all over Russia as well as one or two from further afield. The provision of simultaneous translation enabled lectures on a range of topics in the science and religion debate to be delivered in English by the Faraday team. This was complemented by lectures from distinguished Russian scientists and philosophers. Many of the delegates are involved in teaching science and religion courses at universities and seminaries, and the course ended with a very fruitful exchange of ideas and best practice.
2. From 7th -13th July the eighth Summer Course run by the Faraday Institute took place in glorious summer sunshine in the relaxed and hospitable atmosphere of Lucy Cavendish College. It was entitled ‘Science and Religion: Two Paths to Truth?’ and nearly 60 delegates heard lectures on a wide range of subjects from sixteen guest lecturers, including Prof Nidhal Guessoum, Prof Owen Gingerich, Prof Noreen Herzfeld, Dr Jennifer Wiseman, Prof John Bryant and Prof John Wyatt. The delegates came from diverse backgrounds and professions, including practising scientists, post-graduate students, priests and academics. As well as people from all around the UK, we welcomed delegates from India, Russia, North Africa, Brazil, Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, USA, Poland and Romania. What they had in common was a deep interest in the science and religion debate, and a willingness to learn, question and discuss. This meant that the question sessions after each lecture were lively affairs and the small groups that met each evening enabled delegates to discuss in more depth what they had heard during the day. Feedback from both delegates and speakers was overwhelmingly positive with many hoping to take part in another Faraday event in the future.
3. Dr Ruth Bancewicz gave a series of talks on ‘Science and Belief: Beauty, Wonder and the Human Experience of Science’ at the Society of Ordained Scientists Annual gathering at Scargill House. She also spoke on ‘Science, Faith and Creativity’ at the New Wine conference in Somerset. This month's hits on Dr Bancewicz's weekly blog Science and Belief passed the 100,000 mark. To read her post on Edward Davis's summer course lecture on the religious life, attitudes and vocation of 17th century scientist Robert Boyle, go to http://scienceandbelief.org/2013/07/18/the-vocation-of-robert-boyle/
4. LASAR news: A paper discussing a study of secondary students' insight into how science and religion relate has been published. The details are Billingsley, B., Taber, S. K., Riga, F., & Newdick, H. (2013). Secondary School Students' Epistemic Insight into the Relationships Between Science and Religion; A Preliminary Enquiry. Research in Science Education, 43(4), 1715-1732. The paper can also be viewed for free at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11165-012-9317-y Berry Billingsley who co-wrote the paper can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Looking ahead to the autumn, a one-day course entitled ‘Science and Faith: An introduction” will take place on Saturday 30th November in Southampton. This is being jointly organised with the local Central South Christians in Science group. Further details of the course can be found at
6. A date for the diary! The Faraday Institute will hold its second annual reception for scientists in the Cambridge area who self-identify as Christians, on Monday 4th November at 6pm in The Guildhall:
(see: http://www.faraday.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/Whatson.php?Mode=Highlight&ID=31). Following on from the success of the inaugural event last year, we hope to attract even more Christians in the local scientific community to this ideal opportunity to meet others and to discuss relevant issues. This year’s speaker will be Professor Andrew Wyllie FRS, previously Head of the Department of Pathology at Cambridge. For more information contact the Faraday Administrator at email@example.com
7. The recently published book 'Hope in an Age of Despair: The Gospel and the Future of Life on Earth' by Jonathan Moo and Faraday director Robert White looks at the state of the world from an environmental perspective, then reflects on the Bible's vision of the future of all creation. This not only gives hope for the future, but also should affect how we live now. RRP £12.99, available from Faraday online bookshop for £8:
8. Also recently published in Brazilian Portuguese are the Test of Faith DVD and book (Spiritual Journeys with Scientists). For details of the DVD and book and how to purchase them see http://ultimato.com.br/sites/o-teste-da-fe/. A Spanish translation will be published later this year.
9. The Faraday Institute’s smartphone app for the Android platform app can be found in the Google Play store at:
The iPhone version of the app can be found in iTunes online at:
10. Finally, the Uses and Abuses of Biology programme 2013 essay competition was launched last month. The competition is for anyone aged 30 or younger, and encourages participants to engage with the use and abuse of biological thought in non-biological fields including philosophy, politics, media, sociology and theology. The title of this year's essay is 'How is contemporary biology used for ideological purposes?' More details of the competition can be found at www.uabgrants.org and the competition closes on 30th November 2013.
Bob White Meric Srokosz
[Director] [Associate Director]