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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 102 - July 2014

Faraday Summer Course

We are looking forward to our annual Summer Course, which will take place on 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 will be reported on in the next newsletter. If you haven’t been able to book in, videos of the talks will be available on the web after the course.

Faraday Out and About

The Faraday Institute is 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:

The Faraday Institute is co-sponsoring a conference in Australia on “Rediscovering the spiritual in God’s creation.” This will take place 10-13 March 2015 and the director Bob White will be one of the key speakers. For more details see:


The LASAR team will be holding a student conference for secondary school students in Year 10-12 on Wednesday 24th September at the University of Reading. If you would like to bring students to this or to help or just to know more, please email Berry via This action-packed day is designed for students from religious and non-religious backgrounds. There will be expert-speakers and workshops exploring questions bridging science and religion, looking at the theme: Being Human (Genes, Robots and the Soul).  A paper explaining how teachers of RE and science manage topics and questions bridging science and religion has been published in the Curriculum Journal: Billingsley, B., Riga, F., Taber, K. S., & Newdick, H. (2014) Secondary school teachers’ perspectives on teaching about topics that bridge science and religion. If you are interested and would like to read a free e-print, please email the first author at


Held in the Garden Room, St Edmund's College

The Michaelmas term seminar programme will begin on Tuesday 14th October 2014 when Prof. Michael Northcott will speak. His seminar title is 'A Political Theology of Climate Change'.

Media Output

Earlier this month saw a very successful preview of the first of a new Podcast series ‘Chats with John Polkinghorne’ in which Revd Dr John Polkinghorne offered his thoughts on the article in Nature 510, 9 "Big Bang blunder bursts the multiverse bubble.” In the first 2 weeks this reached an audience of over 7.2K via our Facebook page. We expect coverage to grow as the series develops. Two more previews will be released in July and August in preparation for the launch our SoundCloud channel this autumn. You can listen to the preview at and stay updated via The Faraday Institute Facebook page. More information will follow soon.

Note that videos of Faraday courses, lectures and seminars are available from and on iTunes U, as well as on the Faraday web site

Faraday Staff Activities

On 15th June Meric Srokosz spoke on “Science and the Bible” at St James church in Southampton. People stayed on after the morning service for an hour long lively question and answer session.

Denis Alexander and Faraday Associate Lisa Goddard spoke at the annual conference of Spurgeon’s College in London with 150 delegates in attendance. Dr Alexander also published a blog entitled ‘How Are Christianity and Evolution Compatible?’ at where an extensive blog-discussion board can also be found.

Dr Rodney Holder was invited to a ‘Meet the Author’ evening at St John’s Church, Folkestone, to discuss his book Big Bang, Big God, which many in the congregation had already purchased, and to answer questions.

During the final week of June Dr Diana Beech travelled to Brussels to speak to members of the European Commission about the importance of including values in their decision-making processes, as they wrap up their work in time for the reshuffle of Commission departments. More on Dr Beech's work can be found in a recent blog post by Dr Ruth Bancewicz available here:

Also this month, Ruth Bancewicz spoke on ‘Creative Flourishing in Academia’ at the ‘Transforming the Mind’ Christian Postgraduate Conference in the Peak District, and on science and Christianity at the ‘Test of Faith: Live’ youth event at Audacious Church in Manchester.

Uses and Abuses of Biology

The Uses and Abuses of Biology Programme (UAB): 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

 New Book Published

The latest Faraday book on the causes of disasters and a biblical response to them by the Director, Bob White ‘Who is to Blame? Disasters, Nature and Acts of God’: is available at the discount price of £6 from the shop on the Faraday website.                             

St Edmund's College, Cambridge, CB3 0BN        Tel 01223 741281