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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 95 - December 2013

1. Faraday course in January
2. Madingley course
3. Faraday Annual Reception report
4. European Research workshop
5. Faraday public lecture
6. Southampton course report
7. Faraday seminars
8.-12.  Staff activities
13. New book published
14. Test of Faith news
15. Smartphone app
16. New External Communications Officer

1. The New Year will begin with two Faraday courses aimed at different sectors of the community. From 13th-15th January 2014 we will be running our annual course for the Cambridge Theological Federation. The course is a general introduction to science and faith in the context of parish life and is aimed at those studying for, or engaged in, Christian ministry. There are a few places available for those who are not students at CTF. For details see the Faraday website.

2. On the weekend of 24th-26th January The Faraday Institute is joining with the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education to run a course entitled ‘Science and Christianity’. The course is part of the on-going programme of events run by ICE and will take place at Madingley Hall, Cambridge. Full details can be found on the ICE website (

3. On Monday 4th November The Faraday Institute held its second annual reception in the Guildhall for scientists in the Cambridge area who self-identify as Christians. Professor Andrew Wyllie FRS, previously Chair of the Department of Pathology at Cambridge spoke on the topic of “The challenge of discovery”. The event was attended by over 120 people and the talk was followed by lively discussion in discipline related small groups.

4. On November 5th, Prof John Wood and Dr Diana Beech hosted a one-day workshop entitled ‘The Values of Science: Towards a new Charter for European Research’, which was generously hosted by the Norwegian Mission to the EU in Brussels. This was part of a wider Faraday research project exploring the role of spiritual values in EU science policy. It brought together a select group of leaders in the European research and innovation community, including Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Advisor to President Barroso, industry leaders, heads of universities, and members of the European Parliament. An initial summary of the workshop was recently published by Dr Beech in the ‘University World News’ and is accessible here:

5. On November 21st Prof. Stephen Freeland (University of Maryland) gave the termly Faraday – Christians in Science Lecture at Emmanuel College on ‘Will Life on Other Planets Share Our Genetic Code?’ On November 22nd Professor Freeland gave an adapted version of his talk to sixth form students in three Cambridgeshire schools. The next public lecture will be on Wednesday 29th January by Hans Halvorson, Professor of philosophy at Princeton University.

6. A one-day course entitled ‘Science and Faith: An introduction” took place on Saturday 30th November in Southampton. This was jointly organised with the local Central South Christians in Science group. Over 70 people attended and heard Prof. Keith Ward, Dr Denis Alexander, Dr Peter Bussey and the course director Dr Hilary Marlow speak. This was the first time that Faraday has run a one-day course and the feedback on the day was extremely positive. This was a highly successful event and we hope to hold similar day courses in other parts of the country in collaboration with local groups or individuals. If this interests you, please get in touch.

7. In the Faraday seminar series on November 12th Prof Brent Waters, Professor of Christian Social Ethics at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois, spoke on “Flesh made data: the post-human project in the light of the incarnation.” This was followed on 26th November by the final seminar this term on “Hearing voices, brain and God” by Prof André Aleman, Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry at the University Medical Center Groningen (Department of Neuroscience) and the University of Groningen (Department of Psychology). Both seminars were followed by lively discussions, with an extended discussion after Prof Aleman’s. Seminars will recommence next term on Tuesday 21st January when the speaker will be Prof. Susan Kimble of the University of Manchester, speaking on the topic “Stem cells and healing: reflection on the ethics of using human embryonic stem cells.”

8. The Director spoke on ‘Are natural disasters Acts of God?’ in the ‘Science Meets Faith’ series at Wesley Church Cambridge, and on the same topic to a packed meeting of 450 people at the Baptist Missionary Society meeting in Reading: the talks came just days after typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, with the highest wind speeds ever to hit land in recorded history. He also preached on creation and the new creation at Churchill College, Cambridge.

9. The associate director spoke on the topic “Made in the image of God?” as part of the Reasonable Belief series at Highfield parish church, Southampton, on 3rd November.

10. Denis Alexander spoke at the University of East Anglia on ‘Has Science Buried God?’, at the Worcester CiS local group on ‘Genes, Determinism and God’ and at the Catalyst Live day conference in Manchester (300 delegates) on ‘Science and Faith – Friends or Foes?’. Dr Alexander also represented the John Templeton Foundation at the ceremony at Mansion House, London, to award Bishop Tutu (winner of this year’s Templeton Prize) the freedom of the City of London.

11. In November the Revd Dr Rodney Holder spoke on ‘Can the Big Bang Theory Fit with Christianity?’ to pupils at Barnabas Oley Church of England Primary School, Great Gransden; he spoke on ‘Science and Faith: Friends or Foes?’ for the ‘Digging Deeper Into Science’ programme for Methodist Ministers in the East Midlands Region at Newark Methodist Church; and he preached a sermon on science and faith at Choral Evensong in University College Chapel, Oxford.

12. On 15th November, Dr Diana Beech spoke at the ‘Invest in Researchers’ conference in Vilnius, organised by the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, on the importance of values in fostering sustainable research networks. On 21st and 22nd November, Dr Beech also gave the opening and closing addresses at the first ‘Euraxess – Voice of the Researchers’ conference in Brussels, where she encouraged participants to reflect on their own reasons for ‘doing’ science, and presented their hopes, concerns, and ideas for future European science policy to key stakeholders and decision-makers in the European Research Area.

13. The latest Faraday publication is Living Lightly, Living Faithfully explores the distinctive contributions that religions can make to confronting the challenges of sustainability. Originating from a conference at Cambridge University, it contains essays from a wide variety of authors representing diverse faith and secular positions, helping us chart a path towards a more sustainable future, and inspiring us to set out on it with renewed passion and hope. It was edited by Colin Bell and Bob White (Faraday) and Jonathan Chaplin (KLICE). The book is available from the Faraday on-line shop ( for £7 (hardcopy) or for free in an electronic version. A reminder that Dr Rodney Holder’s new book Big Bang, Big God: A Universe Designed for Life? has been published recently and copies are available from our on-line shop: at £6 (RRP is £8.99).

14. ‘Test of FAITH: Science and Religion Meet’, a teaching resource for UK secondary schools, was published in 2009 and we continue to receive very positive feedback about it. Although the material remains extremely relevant to the teaching of Religious Education, or Philosophy and Ethics, the National Curriculum requirements have changed several times since it was produced. We are therefore selling the remaining stock for £7. Copies of the book (which includes the DVD) can be bought from Fliers advertising this resource (in multiples of 50, up to 1,200) are available from Further details can be found at Please forward this information to any colleagues who might be interested.

15. 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:

16. Finally, it is a pleasure to welcome Eleanor Puttock to The Faraday Institute. Eleanor has joined us as our new External Communications Officer.

Bob White Meric Srokosz
[Director] [Associate Director]