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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 115 - September 2015



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Welcome Back from the Summer Break
As the summer draws to a close and the Michaelmas term approaches we have a variety of news to report and events to which we are looking forward. During the summer the team have been involved in an array of activities including research, interviews, the launch of our first Virtual Learning Environment for this year's Summer Course and planning future seminars, lectures and courses. 
Michaelmas Term Research Seminars
This term offers a great series of research seminars covering a range of topics, starting with Prof. Karla Pollmann addressing  "How did Augustine's Thought Shape a Scientific World-View?" and closing with our Associate Director, Prof. Keith Fox, looking at "Randomness and God in the Biological Context."  View the poster for the series here
Research Seminars are held at 1.00 p.m. on alternate Tuesdays in the Garden Room, Library Building, St Edmund’s College. A free light buffet lunch and drinks are served from 12.30 p.m. onwards. All are welcome.
September 2015 Newsletter No.115
 Hurricane Katrina: 10-Year Anniversary
29 August marked 10 years since New Orleans and the Gulf Coast were struck by one of the most devastating and costly disasters in U.S. history. Roger Abbott, Research Associate in natural disasters at the Faraday Institute, travelled there as part of his research to set up a project exploring the impact of religious beliefs on relationships – with God; with the community; with the environment.  You can hear about his visit as well as his new research project in an interview in next month's newsletter.
Jamie Aten visited us during our summer course and gave a lecture on "The psychology of religion/spirituality and disasters." Having become involved in disaster work after moving to Mississippi, just six days before Hurricane Katrina struck, Jamie recounts his personal experience of Hurricane Katrina in an interview with Eleanor Puttock. You can listen to the interview here:
Upcoming Events

6 October  Research Seminar: Prof. Karla Pollmann

20 October Research Seminar: Revd Dr Rodney Holder

31 October  Cambridge Festival of Ideas Panel Discussion: The Power of the Media in the Science-Religion Dialogue

3 November Research Seminar: Dr Andrew Pinsent
Looking Ahead
17 November Research Seminar: Prof. Keith Fox

23 November Annual Reception for Christians in the sciences in Cambridge

27 November  
Public Lecture: Prof. Irene Tracey: Imaging Belief States in Pain and Religion 

27 - 29 November,
Short course in Cambridge
'The Believing Brain: Neuroscience, Psychology and Faith'

The Faraday Institute - Who are we?
 The Faraday Institute
Who are we?

Faraday out and about in September
Over the coming month, Faraday staff will be taking part in a range of activities:
  • Bob White  is giving the keynote lecture ‘Relational Risk and Natural Disaster’ at the conference: Relational Risk and Sustainability held on 16 September. Find out more at
  • Hilary Marlow  will be giving a seminar 'Conflict or Harmony? Historical Perspectives on Science and Religion' on 21 September as part of the regular seminar series for the group 'Science and Faith in Norfolk.'
August Update
Roger Abbott travelled to New Orleans on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, to set up a project exploring the impact of religious beliefs on relationships – with God; with the community; with the environment.

Lizzie Coyle represented the Institute at this year's Greenbelt Festival participating in a panel discussion "Faith in Science" with Tom McLeish (Professor of Physics at Durham University), Neil Messer (Professor of Theology at the University of Winchester where his research and teaching focus on Christian ethics and the relationship of science and theology).

New Podcast Playlist "The Faraday Institute: Meet the Speaker" is the latest addition to our podcast series. You can “get to know" a Faraday speaker through a discussion about the cultural influences in their life. This month find out more about Faraday Senior Research Associate Ruth Bancewicz at
Faraday Weekend Course
The Believing Brain: Neuroscience, Psychology and Faith
27-29 November 2015, Moeller Centre, Cambridge
Booking is now open for a Faraday weekend course  entitled 'The Believing Brain'. This is an opportunity for those working in, or interested in, the field to hear about the latest developments in this area and to discuss some of the theological and philosophical issues that arise. With an impressive line up of speakers and plenty of time for questions and discussion, it promises to be a stimulating weekend. The weekend will commence with the Faraday Termly Lecture (which, as usual, is open to the public). For more details see  The Believing Brain.

Faraday Regional Courses
Over the next two years, we hope to run a series of regional day courses around the UK. But we can't do it without your help.
So would you like to organise a Faraday Day Course in your local area?  We will work with you to plan it and help with everything from booking speakers to providing a bookstall. If so contact Faraday Course Director, Hilary Marlow on

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