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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 101 - June 2014

The final seminar of the term was given by Prof Sir Brian Heap FRS of Cambridge University on ‘Can genetics help feed Africa.’ It is a sobering thought that better management of water and resources and the use of crops tailored to the demands of the local area are more than capable of preventing mass malnutrition and hunger. The talk was followed by an informal discussion group convened by Colin and Janet Abbiss. Earlier in the month Prof Tom McLeish FRS, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, Durham University gave a well received seminar on the topic of ‘Faith and Wisdom in Science’ based on his new book of the same name.

The 30th Anniversary Christian Resources Exhibition (CRE) International at Sandown Park took place from 13th – 16th May. It was a successful week for The Faraday Institute. We not only broadened our outreach to new audiences by hosting a stand and speaking to a extensive range of people, but also arranged two well attended seminar presentations; John Bryant speaking on ‘Issues at the Start of Life - How do we decide?’ and Colin Bell on ‘Christian Ecology: economics and consumerism.’

This year our annual Summer Course will take place from July 6th – 11th in the beautiful surroundings of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. The theme this year is ‘Science and Religion: Engaging in Constructive Dialogue’ and we have an exciting programme in which a wide variety of questions in science and religion will be tackled by world-renowned speakers – cosmologists, geneticists, philosophers, anthropologists and ethicists, to name just a few. This course is the high spot of our year and is widely appreciated by those who attend. If you have been thinking about registering but have yet to do so, now is your chance as the Course is filling up rapidly. See:

On May 9th – 11th three Faraday Institute staff (Denis Alexander, Rodney Holder and Hilary Marlow) travelled to Uppsala, Sweden to take part in a course organized by the Newman Institute in Uppsala, Sweden as part of their academic programme on science and religion. Between them they delivered eight lectures and four seminars, and took part in two panel discussions before a group of over 40 enthusiastic and questioning Scandinavians. There was plenty of opportunity to talk to individual delegates, discuss plans for future collaborations between The Faraday Institute and Swedish initiatives, as well as selling books by Faraday authors at bargain prices. Some even managed a visit to the Linnaeus botanical garden and museum—formerly the home of the Swedish father of modern taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778). 

The Faraday Institute will be working with local initiatives to run courses in Argentina and Brazil in October 2014 and in Spain in November 2014. More details and local contact information can be found on our website here:

On Wednesday 28th May Revd Dr Ernest Lucas gave a Faraday public lecture on ‘The Bible, Science and Creation.’ Dr Lucas explored the meaning of the text we read in the first three chapters of Genesis in an authoritative and accessible way. (The link to the recording of this lecture is given in the Recordings section.)

A new book on the causes of disasters and a biblical response to them by the Director, Bob White, is published this month. Copies of ‘Who is to Blame? Disasters, Nature and Acts of God’: may be ordered at the discount price of £6 from the shop on the Faraday website.

The Test of Faith resources for churches have now been published in Spain, and they were launched with events in Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia. For further details and ordering go to Test of Faith is also co-hosting a youth event and youth leaders’ training workshop in Manchester on Friday 20th June. For details go to

Videos of Faraday courses, lectures and seminars are available from and on iTunes U, as well as on the Faraday web site The latest videos are posted there:

Dr Jeremy Butterfield Physics and Philosophy 

Prof Tom Mcleish Faith and Wisdom in Science 

Dr Lydia Jaeger Reading the book of Nature: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on the Law of Nature 

Prof Tim O'Connor Free Will and Determinism 

Prof Tim O'Connor Evolution, Emergence and Philosophy 

Prof Roger Trigg Cognitive Science, Philosophy and Faith

Revd Dr Ernest Lucas, The Bible, Science and Creation 

Prof. Sir Brian Heap, Can Genetics Help Feed Africa?

The Uses and Abuses of Biology Programme: our latest student competition is now live! We are pleased to offer up to ten bursaries for PhD students to attend the 2014 Uses and Abuses of Biology Workshop. The aim of the workshop is to share the key and exciting results from the UAB research programme, with a mix of original research presentations and high-profile external speakers. The bulk of the delegates will be a cohort of high-profile international print and radio journalists. Application is by email - go to for more information, and to download the Workshop schedule, or email Nell Whiteway on

Dr Denis Alexander gave three lectures as part of the Faraday Course in Uppsala followed by two lectures on natural theology at the University of Lyon in France.
In May Dr Rodney Holder preached in Churchill College Chapel, Cambridge, on ‘Science and Faith: Friends or Foes?’, and spoke at a Men’s Breakfast meeting at Hunton Park, King’s Langley, on ‘Big Bang, Big God: A Universe Designed for Life?’

Prof Bob White preached at Ford’s Lane Evangelical Church on ‘Natural Disasters’.

Bob White Meric Srokosz
[Director] [Associate Director]