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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 84 - January 2013

Paragraph Contents
1.  New Course Faraday Director
2.  Lent Term Seminars
3.  January Course for Ordinands
4.  March Course details
5.  Summer Course details
6.  Uses and Abuses Of Biology essay competition
7.  Denis Alexander – Gifford Lectures
8.  Bob White talks
9.  Rodney Holder talks
10.  Ruth Bancewicz talks
11.  Diana Beech research activities

1. The Faraday Institute enters the New Year with a number of changes occurring. Dr Rodney Holder, who has been the Course Director since the Institute started in January 2006, will be retiring at the end of this month, to concentrate on writing. We wish him well in his retirement and look forward to his next book. We are pleased to announce that Dr Hilary Marlow has been appointed as the new Course Director. Dr Marlow is a biblical scholar who has longstanding connections with the Faraday Institute, having been a post-doctoral researcher, 2006-2009, and subsequently a Faraday Associate. She has written extensively on ecology and the Bible, including a book entitled “Biblical prophets and contemporary environmental ethics” (Oxford, 2009).

2. The new term also sees the re-start of the Faraday seminar series. The first seminar this Lent term will be at 13.00 on Tuesday 22nd January in the Garden Room at St. Edmund’s College. Prof. Antony Hewish FRS (Nobel Laureate in radio astronomy) will speak on “My life in science and religion – a personal story.” Other speakers this term are Dr. Jongkind, Prof. Gregersen, and Dr. McMahon FRS (Seminars.php).

3. The next Faraday course will be held 9-11 January 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.

4. 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 may be found on The Faraday Institute website [].

5. Information about The Faraday Institute Summer Course 2013, entitled ‘Science and Religion – Two Paths to Truth?’ has also just been posted on the web. This course is also open for applications and will take place 7-13 July 2013 (see for details about all three courses and also for Faraday collaborative courses taking place overseas).

6. Prizes have been awarded in the 2012 Uses and Abuses of Biology essay competition, which looked at the philosophical and moral implications of contemporary genetics and genetic technology. Three prizes worth £1000, £500 and £250 were awarded to undergraduate and post-graduate students aged between 20 and 25. Details of the winners and copies of their essays will be posted on the UAB website ( in the coming month.

7. The Emeritus Director, Denis Alexander, gave the Gifford Lectures at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland on 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th December on the overall theme ‘Genes, Determinism and God’. Further details may be found at: The well-attended lectures aroused some good discussion and will now be expanded into a significant book on this theme. Dr Alexander also gave the annual lecture of the Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion (DoSER) Program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC, entitled ‘Are We Only Our Genes?’ Attended by 240 people, the respondent to Dr Alexander was Steve Paulson, Executive Producer at Wisconsin National Public Radio.

8. The director Prof Bob White spoke on ‘Has science disproved Christianity’ to a packed lunchtime meeting at Hills Road Sixth Form College organized by the students.

9. Dr Holder spoke on ‘Natural Theology’ to the Faith in Society Group of Great St Mary’s, Cambridge, the University Church, and on ‘Wonders of the Universe: An Astrophysicist’s Perspective on Science and Faith’ at the recently formed Science and Faith Discussion Group at Nexus Methodist Church, Walcot, Bath.

10. On 3rd December, Dr Ruth Bancewicz gave a lecture on ‘Science and Wonder’ at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. You can watch the video at

11. Dr Diana Beech has now released all five sections of her survey on European science policy. If you work in any aspect of science and research in the EU and are interested in contributing to this project which explores the role of spiritual values in European science, you can access the survey at:

Bob White Meric Srokosz
[Director] [Associate Director]