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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 2 - February 2006

Highlights of the past month in the new Faraday Institute have included two further Faraday Research Seminars, both filling the Okinaga Seminar Room at the top of the St. Edmund's College Tower - the highest seminar room in Cambridge. The first of these was by Prof. Philip Clayton who is currently on sabbatical in Cambridge at the Divinity Faculty. Prof. Clayton gave a grand overview of the concept of emergence in both science and religion. In the second seminar of the month, Prof. Colin Russell spoke on the way in which Michael Faraday's faith made an impact on his scientific career, providing ample justification, should any be needed, for the choice of Faraday in the naming of the new Institute.

The first Research Seminar in this series, given by the Revd Dr John Polkinghorne, is already posted at Seminars.php in either MP3 or WMA audio formats in case you were unable to be present. The audio versions of the latest seminars will be posted soon at the same address, and these will be followed by the video versions a little later. You can also purchase CD or DVD versions of all Faraday Seminars and Lectures (3 and 5, respectively, plus post and package) by e-mailing Bekki Pearce at Eventually it will be possible to place and pay for all orders on line, so the direct e-mail to Bekki provides an interim ordering mechanism.

This month has seen the Director speaking at a Sixth Form Conference held in 800-year old Wells Cathedral (Somerset) on the topic of 'Science, Faith and Ethical Challenges', fielding questions for an hour on UCB radio, participating in a BBC Radio 4 panel discussion, and speaking at several other events. The Faraday Staff, Advisory Board and Associates, together comprise an extensive repertoire of expertise in different aspects of science and religion, so if you require speakers for events do not hesitate to send an e-mail to Polly Stanton, the Faraday Administrator ( and, following consultation, Polly will ensure that you receive back suggestions of suitable speakers for your event.

The first Faraday Short Course entitled 'Introduction to Science and Religion' will be held at Westminster College, 7-9 April, and there are a few places left if you are planning on coming - but quick action is recommended. The detailed schedule for the Faraday Summer Course No 1 (July 16-29) is now up on the web-site for Unit 1 (= Week 1) and the full schedule for Unit 2 (= Week 2) will be posted soon. The Course will be held at St. Edmund's College. Delegates may attend for either or both Units. We are pleased with the high profile list of speakers who have agreed to lecture at the Summer Course, including George Ellis (cosmology), Simon Conway Morris (evolution and fine-tuning in biology), Sir Ghillean Prance (sustainability), John Polkinghorne (theology/philosophy), David Lindberg (history of science), Ernan McMullin (history/philosophy), Mikael Stenmark (philosophy of science), and many others. Applications are already coming in for the Summer Course, so once again early application is recommended.

Those who browse the Faraday web-pages occasionally may notice that the number of Faraday Associates has grown over the past month to around 25 (Associates.php) and we are now looking to extend the list into Europe in particular. Initially we had thought that we might assemble a list of about 25 Associates, but it looks now as if the eventual list will be considerably longer. Our aim is certainly to have a strong international flavour in all our activities.

Best wishes,

Denis Alexander

[Director, Faraday Institute]