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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 139 - November 2017

October 2017 Newsletter No. 139
We have commenced this academic year at full-throttle! As you will see from this month's newsletter we have an array of events, blog posts, press coverage, publications and much more. Something for everyone, enjoy.
A Moving Experience: Rachel Simonson
It has been a momentous month for The Faraday Institute. Since the last newsletter we have moved “home”.  After over 11 great years we vacated Benet House at St Edmund’s College and de-camped just across the way into the pristine new Woolf Institute Building in the grounds of Westminster College.  We are still part of St Edmund’s College and nothing else changes for the next 12 months; our fortnightly seminars are still held in the Garden Room.  We are grateful for the College’s nurture over the years which has allowed us to develop and thrive and for their ongoing support as we spread our wings.  After a frantic time of unpacking cardboard boxes and assembling furniture we were able to hold our “housewarming  party” last week. It was fitting that our first guests were former Faraday team members and present staff colleagues from St Edmund’s. We have much to celebrate and be thankful for, it is a beautiful and inspiring new home.

Physics and Faith: Exploring the Interface

Darwin College: 25 November 2017

This one-day course will explore a number of different areas of modern physics that raise important questions for humankind and for Christian theology. For example: how do the latest findings in cosmology and particle physics inform theology?  What does quantum physics tell us about the nature of reality?  What are the ethical and theological implications of nanoscience and nanotechnology?  What does physics tell us about evolution?  Lectures will be delivered by experienced scientists and theologians, with plenty of time for discussion. As with all Faraday courses, the day course is aimed towards thinking people from a variety of backgrounds, both scientists and non-scientists. 
The course is limited to 50 places and there is a first come first served for dinner (see supplement rate) which inculdes after-dinner guest speaker, Professor Mathias Klaui from the University of Mainz.
Confirmed speakers include Professor Andrew Briggs, Professor Russell Cowburn FRS, Revd Dr Rodney Holder, Dr Ruth Bancewicz and Dr Suchitras Sebastian. 

Deadline for applications:  1 November 2017
Can't make our events in person, don't worry, all of our seminars, talks, lectures and public festivals are available on the Multimedia part of our website. We have over 600 talks for you to watch or listen to at your convenience. 
Click here to read Cara Daneel's article published in Christianity Today “Thoughts on discipleship from a marine conservationist”
New Paper Published/Press Release Dr Amy Unsworth has published a new paper on her research, this Press Release highlights one interesting aspect. Click here to find out more "Muslims and Evangelicals reject evolution LESS if they attend faith schools"
Click here to read Dr Alexander Massmann's blog "Purposeful Life: goal-oriented organisims and faith in the Creator"
Research Seminar Series 
24 October
Mathematics and the Beauty of God
Prof. David Watts (University of Manchester)
7 November
Gravity, Black Holes and Ultimate Reality
Prof. Christine Done 
(University of Durham)

21 November
Ritual, Community and Conflict
Prof. Harvey Whitehouse (Oxford University)

Our seminars are held at 13:00 on alternate Tuesdays during full term in St Edmund’s College. A free light buffet lunch and drinks are served from 12:30 onwards. All are welcome.

Day Course in Newcastle
Science and Faith: Building Bridges
11 November

Day Course Cambridge
Physics and Faith: Exploring the Interface
25 November

Professional Workshop for church leaders
Science and Faith in the Local Church
10-11 January 2018
Call for Papers
"Reading is believing? Sacred Texts in a Scientific Age"
We invite abstracts for short papers from any academic discipline for this multi-disciplinary academic colloquium that forms part of Faraday’s research project “Science and Scripture in Christianity and Islam”. The Colloquium will take place on 23-24 March 2018 at Clare College, Cambridge. Registration is now open, full details  of booking for the event and paper submissions can be found here.

Abstracts can be submitted until the deadline of 31 December.
Click here to watch the popular lecture from Prof.Sir Colin Humphreys "Dating Biblical Events Using Science" from this year's Summer Course. 
Faraday "Out & About " - What have we been up to? 
Our Director, Bob White spent the last week of September in Vanuatu, visiting the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department in the capital, Port Vila, and travelling to the active volcano Mount Yasur on the isalnd of Tanna. He was there when increasing activity of Ambae volcano forced the evacuation of the entire population of 11,000 from the island.There will be wide-ranging discussion of natural disasters and theological responses at the forthcoming Faraday course in Cambridge on April 13-15th 2018 to which all are invited.
A team of Faraday researchers joined forces with Lion Hudson at the
New Scientist Live Exhibition from 28 September – 1 October. There were some fantastic conversations and a good amount of connections made.

Eleanor Puttock, our External Communications Officer, took part in a panel at the conference “Discussing science and religion in the media” held at the London Science Museum. This workshop for journalists, media professionals, press officers and anyone interested in science, religion and their interactions in society, introduced the research findings of the major multidisciplinary project Science & Religion: Exploring the Spectrum, discussed their implications for media coverage of science and religion debates, and more generally explored the role of empirical data and nuanced debate in shaping mainstream media narratives on science and religion.

Our School Outreach team have had a busy start to this academic year travelling nationally visiting various age groups and delivering an array of talks.  There was a day at Manchester Cathedral for over 90 Year 6 pupils entitled “Fossils and Faith/ God, Science and our Amazing Planet “, a trip to Wales for Year 11-13 on  “God, Ecology and the Big Bad Wolf " which was delivered in English and Welsh, and talks on Fossils and Faith in Yorkshire, to mention a few.  They continue to work closely with schools as well as developing other resources and working on the Children’s Media Project.  Watch this space for more news from the team.

Rodney Holder held an interactive Skype lesson with Dulwich Prep London on "God & Aliens'" on 19 October.

Faraday-CiS Lecture in association with the Christian Graduate Society

On 9 October, Friends gathered in the Chemistry Building as the Faraday Institute, Christians in Science and the Christian Graduate Society collaborated to host a lecture by Prof. Henry F. Schaefer who spoke on “Science and Faith: Friends or Foes?” The termly lecture was well attended as people gathered from across Cambridge and beyond with different science and faith perspectives. Prof. Schaefer spoke about scientists from all different fields who are also Christians and how their faith has contributed to their scientific work. It was great to have such a well-known scientist on our lecture series and to have a new audience with the collaboration of the CGS.
Upcoming External Events

Cambridge Festival of Ideas 16- 29 October

25 October “Why are we here?” 
The screening of an episode of the new four-part series in which Oxford physicist Ard Louis (a believer) and filmmaker David Malone (a non-believer) are on a quest to try to restore meaning, morality, and maybe even God to questions about why we are here. On their journey, they engage some of the world’s greatest scientists and philosophers. This will be followed by a panel discussion with Ard Louis, David Malone and Faraday staff Joe Tennant and Lizzie Henderson. 

27 October “Friend in the Machine” Can a robot be a true friend? Are we lonely enough to consider relationships with machines? How do we deal with a rapidly ageing population and fewer resources to care for our loved ones? What is companionship and can a machine be a substitute for a human companion? The second in a quadrilogy of short films exploring topical issues within the field of artificial intelligence - Friend in the Machine, presents fascinating insights from academia and industry about the world of companion robots and asks what it means to be human in an age of nearly human machines. 

Screening of this new short documentary film by Dr Beth Singler, Colin Ramsay and James Uren will be followed by a panel discussion featuring:
Dr Beth Singler (The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion)
Dr Ruth Jackson (CRASSH)
Kanta Dihal (Centre for the Future of Intelligence)
Noel Hurley (ARM)

Reception for Christians in the Cambridge Scientific Community

Monday 20 November
The Faraday Institute will hold the sixth annual reception for Christians in the Scientific Community at Emmanuel United Reformed Church on Monday 20 November 2017 starting from 6.00pm with hot buffet supper. The invitation is for all in the Cambridge area who self-identify as scientists (from graduate students to FRSs and Nobel prize-winners) and who also self-identify as Christians.This will include a short talk by Martin Frost, CEO of Cambridge Medical Robotics.

Registration is essential at
Faraday "Out and About" - Where will we be?
Rodney Holder will be speaking on "Science and Faith" to the Cambridge Federation on 26 October. 

Denis Alexander is giving a talk on "Creation or Evolution - Do We Have to Choose?’" in the Farringdon Corn Exchange (nr Oxford) on 3 November at 20:00 and again ’ at St. John’s Church, Tubridge Wells, on 10 November at 19:30.

Ruth Bancewicz will talk on ”God in the Lab” at a conference on science and faith to be held on 4 November  at the Hartford Church Centre.

On 7 November we are delighted that Chris Done will give a talk on “Black holes, the Big Bang and God: Is there still space for faith?” aimed at year 11-13 students, prior to her seminar. There are still a few school places left, if you are interested please contact the team on

On 13 November Ruth Bancewicz will present “God in the Lab: When curiosity leads to wonder, awe, and the big questions of life”  at St. Johns, Waterbeach. 
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