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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 56 - September 2010

Faraday Institute Newsletter No 56 (September 2010)

This month we welcome Douglas Leckie [] as our new full-time External Communications Officer. Douglas read History at Oxford, and then taught for eight years at secondary level - first History, and latterly Religion and Philosophy.  More recently he completed a Diploma in Theology at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, with specialisations in the theology of art and the history of education.

You may like to know that we send out a daily newsfeed to anyone interested which picks up current stories on science and religion out in the media, giving an idea of what the story is about and providing the relevant web-address. Typically there are 5-10 URL links per day. Many people take this free newsfeed service for personal interest, but others in order to contribute to the media discussion themselves. If you would like to receive the newsfeed, please let Douglas Leckie know [].

The new Cambridge University Term is approaching, and some dates to put in the diary for those living in the Cambridge area include the first research seminar of term with the title ‘Neuronal Imaging of the Religious Brain’ to be given by the Revd Dr Alasdair Coles [Department of Medicine, Cambridge University] on Tuesday October 12th at 1.00 p.m. in the Garden Seminar Room at St. Edmund’s College, preceded by a free buffet lunch at 12.30 p.m. Dr Coles is one of a rare species: an ordained and active minister in the Anglican Church who also runs a successful biomedical research group, as well as carrying out clinical duties. If you would like a colour poster of all this term’s seminars to put up in a particular venue, then please contact our Events Manager, Zoe Binns, at Alternatively the poster may be down-loaded from the Faraday web-site at:

As part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas there will be two performances of the one-actor play entitled ‘Darwin’s Tree’ on 29th and 30th October at 8.00 p.m. in the McCrum Theatre (behind the Eagle Pub) which is part of Corpus Christi College. Written by Murray Watts, the play, in which Andrew Harrison plays Darwin, explores Darwin's life and his questions about himself, science, suffering and God. Launched at Westminster Abbey last year as part of the Darwin Anniversary Year, the play has achieved widespread critical acclaim and is not to be missed. Tickets cost £10 (£5 for students and senior citizens) including a complimentary drink. Booking is now open and early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment (the theatre is not that large).

Other events next term likewise not to be missed for those in the Cambridge area are the public lecture entitled ‘Playing God?: Toward Machines that Deny Their Maker’ by Prof. Rosalind Picard from MIT that will be held at 5.30 pm on Tuesday 2nd November 2010 in the Queen's Lecture Theatre at Emmanuel College, and the Public Discussion between Prof. Terry Eagleton and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, on the subject ‘Responses to the New Atheism’ to be held at 5.30 p.m. on Friday 19th November 2010 in Great St Mary’s Church. 

We are pleased to announce that The Test of Faith DVD, book and course materials are now on sale in the USA from Discounts are available for multiple orders (contact for details). Also new from the Test of Faith project is the 'Celebrating God's Creation' church service material, that was developed in partnership with the Bible Society UK. This resource includes a sermon outline, ideas for prayers, liturgy and songs, videos, PowerPoint and all-age/children's activities. 'Celebrating God's Creation' is available to download free from

The multimedia section of the Faraday web-site ( continues to expand, especially with the new influx of lectures from our recent courses, and there are now nearly 400 seminars, lectures and discussions posted on the site in video and/or MP3 formats.


Denis Alexander Bob White

[Director]            [Associate Director]