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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 45 - October 2009

The start of the new Cambridge term sees our new Faraday Research Seminar Series starting up, and the first seminar will be on Tuesday October 6th at 1.00 p.m. when Dr Gennaro Auletta from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome will be speaking on ‘Information, Biological Complexity and Emergence’. As usual a free buffet lunch will be served from 12.30 p.m. in the venue, the Garden Seminar Room, at St. Edmund’s College.

In a few weeks time we will be holding the premier of a major new play on the life of Sir Isaac Newton entitled ‘Let Newton Be!’ written by Craig Baxter and produced by the Menagerie Theatre Company as a contribution to the 800th Birthday Celebrations of the University of Cambridge. ‘Let Newton Be!’ explores the life and thought of a genius whose scientific theories still provide the foundations for our understanding of the Universe. It brings the complex and controversial character of Sir Isaac Newton to life, using his own words and those of his contemporaries. It is a verbatim play, the script drawn entirely from the written words of Newton and his contemporaries – letters, notes, published and unpublished works.

With thanks to funding from the Cambridge University 800th Birthday fund, entrance to all performances for Cambridge University members will be free. The play opens with an exclusive performance to Trinity College members and special guests on Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st of October, 8.00 p.m., at the Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College, followed by a drinks reception. The main performance open to all members of Cambridge University will be on Thursday, 22nd October in the Lady Mitchell Hall at 5.30 p.m. All performances will be followed by a discussion led by the Newton Project Director, Prof Robert Iliffe. There will also be a further ticketed performance at the Hills Road Sixth Form Theatre on the evening of Friday, 23rd October, at 7.30 p.m. [Tickets available through The Junction Box Office 01223-511511, at a price of £7.50, with concessionary rate for students and unemployed of £5.00].

Those visiting our web-site at will notice that it has a fresh look and design, and we hope that you find the navigation easier on the new site. We now have a ‘What’s On?’ section which will list the upcoming Faraday events. Work is still in progress on the site, particularly in the Multimedia section. Inevitably there will be some glitches in launching any new web-site, especially now that there are so many different versions of different browsers in use around the world, so we would be grateful if you could inform the Webmaster, Stephen Evans, of any problems/errors that you uncover ( Please give your browser name and version when reporting glitches.

The ‘Test of Faith’ project continues to develop well. The documentary has won a 2009 Redemptive Storyteller Award (, and was Highly Commended in the Feature Film category of the 2009 IVCA Clarion Awards ( For clips from the documentary go to

The Test of Faith schools pack was launched in September. It includes a teacher's book with lesson plans for UK GCSE and A-Level Religious Education lessons, and a special edition of the Test of Faith DVD. It will be available from next week at the Faraday online shop, with an introductory price of £12.

We are pleased to announce the publication by Oxford University Press of a new book by one of our Faraday Staff members, Hilary Marlow. Entitled Biblical Prophets and Contemporary Environmental Ethics it explores the relationship between God, human beings and the rest of creation in some of the Old Testament prophets, then suggests the potential contribution of these writings to issues in contemporary environmental ethics. It is available from the Faraday website at a substantial discount (

‘Creation in Crisis’, the collection of essays edited by Associate Director Bob White arising out of a Faraday Workshop, continues to sell briskly from the shop on the Faraday website where it is available at a special offer price. It has already led to many radio interviews with the Editor, including local radio programmes ranging from Cambridgeshire to Bristol, Belfast, Manchester and Wiltshire. His interview with BBC Radio Bristol can be listened to at: (1 hour, 30 mins into the programme). 

The Faraday Institute is also holding an event as part of the Cambridge Festival Ideas on Saturday 24th October 2009 from 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. in Mill Lane Lecture Room number 3. John Polkinghorne FRS and Nicholas Beale offer responses to questions about God, Science and Belief based on their recently published book Questions of Truth. See for more information.

Denis Alexander Bob White

[Director]           [Associate Director]