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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 82 - November 2012

1.        Faraday Research Seminars
2.        Faraday-CiS Public Lecture
3.        Faraday Reception for Scientists
4.        Faraday Courses
5.        Faraday Courses
6.        Research Associate position
7.        Denis Alexander - Gifford Lectures
8.        Staff activities – Denis Alexander
9.        Staff activities – Bob White
10.        Staff activities – Rodney Holder
11.        Staff activities – Diana Beech
12.        LASAR  activities

1.    The first Faraday Research Seminar of this term was given by Dr Elizabeth Boyle, Fellow of St Edmund’s College, on Tuesday 9th October with the title ‘Intersections between religion and science in early medieval Ireland’. On Tuesday 23rd October, Prof Richard Bauckham gave a seminar on ‘Ecological hope in crisis?’ Coming up in November are seminars by Prof Sarah Coakley (Cambridge) ‘Evolution, Cooperation and God: A Discussion of the Aberdeen Gifford Lectures 2012 (6th) and by Sir John Meurig Thomas on ‘The genius of Michael Faraday’ (20th). Both will take place in the Garden Seminar Room of St. Edmund’s College at 1.00 p.m. A full list of this term’s seminars may be found at

2.    This term’s Faraday Public Lecture was given by Prof. Ian Hutchinson, Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on the topic ‘Scientism: How Much Faith Should We Put in Science?’ on Monday 15th October in the McCrum Theatre at Corpus Christi College. The lecture can be downloaded from Multimedia.php?Mode=Add&ItemID=Item_Multimedia_500&width=720&height=460

3.    If you are in the Cambridge area within the scientific community, please note this date for your diary: Monday, 19th November. The Faraday Institute warmly invites all those who self-identify as Christians within the Cambridge scientific community, be they in university departments, research institutes or in local companies, to a reception at 6.00 p.m. in the Guild Hall, Cambridge. For further details and to register go to:

4.    The next Faraday course will be held 9-11 Jan 2013, and will be ‘An Introduction to Science and Religion’. This course is intended mainly for students of the Cambridge Theological Federation, but with a few places available to similar delegates from elsewhere.

5.    A course with the same title, ‘An Introduction to Science and Religion’, but aimed primarily at scientists, is taking place 22-24 March 2013 and details have just been posted on the Faraday Institute website (see for details about both courses).

6.    A position is open at the Faraday Institute for a Research Associate to carry out a project ‘The sea in scripture.’ The post is available immediately and will continue until the end of January 2015. The aim will be to develop a biblical theology of the sea and seek to apply this to how we should treat the ocean, which covers 70% of the Earth, the creatures living in it and the resources it contains. The post will be under the supervision of Prof Meric Srokosz, associate director of the Faraday Institute. For further details about the project contact Mrs Polly Stanton [] or see Closing date for applications is 23rd November.

7.    Those anywhere near St Andrew’s University in Scotland may be interested to know that our Emeritus Director, Denis Alexander, is due to give the Gifford Lectures there on 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th December on the overall theme ‘Genes, Determinism and God’. Further details may be found at:

8.    This past month Denis Alexander spoke to around 120 attendees at the newly formed Christians in Science local group at the University of Birmingham, took part in a public discussion with Brian Hebblethwaite at a Cambridge Methodist Church on ‘Theological Statements and Scientific Statements’, gave a lecture to the Isthmus Society at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) and spoke in Oxford on the topic ‘What kind of God is left if science explains it all?’. 

9.    Prof Bob White gave a talk and fielded Q&As on ‘Christianity, Climate Change and Sustainable Living’ to a large and engaged audience at Swansea University.

10.    Dr Rodney Holder spent a week in October teaching an intensive course on science and religion to Masters’ degree students at the South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies, Bangalore, India.

11.    Dr Diana Beech attended the ‘Europe Innova’ Conference 2012 in Copenhagen, where she spoke to policy makers and research managers from all over the EU about the project ‘Restoring Spiritual Values to European Science’. This project now has a new website, accessible at:

12.        The LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion) Project team are organising two new events for schools - one on 21st June 2013 at Reading and one on 25th September 2013 at Oxford. Please pass the details to anyone who might be interested and see to find out more.  The event for schools organised by LASAR and held in September this year was covered by BBC Breakfast, BBC Newsround and BBC World News, BBC Radio Berkshire and the Reading Post. The BBC video can be viewed at There are more clips from the day including a talk delivered to students by Mark Pagel, Professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Reading on the FaradaySchools website.  The FaradaySchools site also has the details of a one-day course for teachers and a distance-learning course, which runs once a week in the summer term, for those interested in becoming more expert in children's developing thinking about science and religion.


Bob White  Meric Srokosz
[Director]  [Associate Director]