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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 123 - May 2016

May 2016 Newsletter No. 123
FARADAY SUMMER COURSE
3 – 8 July, Cambridge

 
There is still time to book in for this year’s annual course featuring lectures from world-renowned experts, practical science seminars and excursions to explore the scientific heritage of Cambridge. This year’s course is entitled ‘Science and Religion: Conversations between Worldviews’ and will include input from Christian, Jewish and Muslim scientists as well as theological, historical and philosophical perspectives on the relation between science and religion. There are always plenty of opportunities for discussion and to have informal conversations with the speakers, and it all takes place within the beautiful gardens of Lucy Cavendish College. Book you place now by clicking here
Closing date 23 May 2016

Summer Course 2015
 Update from our Research Projects
Guest Blog Dr Caroline Tee

 
Reading the Bible and Qur’an in Light of Science
 
On 20-21 April 2016, the Faraday Institute hosted a fascinating group of 22 invited scholars for a workshop in Cambridge, focusing on the religious scriptures of Christianity and Islam and the question of their interpretation in a modern, scientific age. Experts in Biblical and Qur’anic exegesis joined scholars of science and religion and inter-faith dialogue in a series of lively round-table discussions. These began with a comparative exploration of the stories of the creation of Adam in the Bible and Qur’an, using a technique known as Scriptural Reasoning. From this starting point of inter-textual encounter, discussions were then structured around three key questions:  first, how does scripture retain its authority in our day, when powerful cultural narratives such as those of science might seem to undermine its teachings? Second, how have interactions between scripture and culture been played out in the past, and what can we learn from the historical precedent? And third, how is scriptural revelation understood in Christianity and Islam, and what are the specific issues facing each tradition regarding translation and techniques for reading?
Our discussions benefited from the valuable participation of some leading scholars of both faith traditions from the UK and USA, and will inform the next stage of the research project ‘Science and Scripture in Christianity and Islam’, for which we are still recruiting fieldwork participants (www.sciencescripture.org). If you meet the criteria and would like to take part, then please do get in touch via the website.
Upcoming Events

17 May 2016
Research Seminar 
Science, God and Ockham's Razor: Can Science Explain God Away?
Dr David Glass
(School of Computing and Mathematics, Ulster University)

Held at 1.00 p.m. in the Garden Room, Library Building, St. Edmund’s College. A free light buffet lunch and drinks are served from 12.30 p.m. onwards. All are welcome.
 
Wednesday 1 June 2016
Research Seminar: Faculty of Divinity
Is it Appropriate to Endorse Methodological Naturalism from a Christian Epistemic?
Prof. Alan Torrance
(University of St. Andrew's)

Please note this seminar is being held in the Faculty of Divinity on Wednesday 1 June at 2.30pm in the Runcie Room.
Upcoming Courses

July 
3-8 July 
Summer Course 11
Science and Religion: Conversations between Worldviews 
Lucy Cavendish, Cambridge

Deadline for applications: May 23, 2016

September 
16-18 September 
Short Course 36
Reality, Robots and Religion 
(Robinson College, Cambridge)

Deadline for applications: August 1, 2016
Deadline for Bursary applications: June 27, 2016
The Faraday Institute - Who are we?
 The Faraday Institute
Who are we?

 
Reflections from our recent volunteer: Shwethaa Raghunathan
 
It has been a great four months at the Faraday Institute. I first found a flyer listing Faraday Institute’s termly talks at Church and attended their annual reception last year.  I had just moved to Cambridge and had plenty of spare time when a volunteering opportunity with the Faraday Institute arose. It has been most exciting and inspirational to volunteer in an institute that works hard to keep the science and religion discussion alive and roaring. Working with the adminstaitve team of Faraday Institute has been a great experience in people skills. I have learnt to enjoy small talk, weather discussions, tea and cycling! More importantly, working on a variety of roles from creating databases to manning a bookstall, it has made me appreciate admin work a lot more. While research skills are easily gained as part of lab work, admin experience is often not part of the package.
I will most certainly miss the opportunity to attend an occasional service at the college chapel, staff meeting devotions and the varied array of tasks. Most of all, I take with me a renewed enthusiasm to keep myself updated about the science and religion discussion and equip myself better and a stronger faith that there is no wisdom against God (Prov 21:30). This enthusiasm for reinforcing my faith is the most important take-away for me from Faraday Institute.

I leave for the Sanger Institute this May to work on Haematopoiesis in Zebra Fish and I look forward to popping in for Faraday Lectures and Seminars whenever I can. 

With love and fond memories,
Shwethaa

Photographs of a farewell tea party at the Institute and Shwethaa and the admin team: Eleanor, Shwethaa, Rachel and Julia (from left to right).
 
Faraday 'out and about' in May and June
May
14 May  Roger Abbott will be training street pastors in Trauma response in conjunction with Local and Statutory authorities in Southampton. 
15 May  Caroline Tee will be talking on Science and Scripture in Christianity and Islam at Somerville College Chapel, Oxford UK 
17 May  Roger Abbott presents on the topic of "Hard thoughts are not my thoughts: pointing the finger after disasters” at the next Parks at One meeting in Cambridge. 
16-20 May  The Faraday Institute team will be hosting a stand and presenting two seminars at the Christian Resources Exhibition International 2016 at the ExCeL in London.
20-22 May  Beth Singler will be  presenting a paper entitled "Roko's basilisk, or Pascal's? Thinking of Singularity Thought Experiments as Implicit Religion"  at the Implicit Religion Conference in Salisbury, UK.
31 May Hilary Marlow will be speaking on the Pope’s Encyclical, Laudato Sí  at a seminar in the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Research into the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH)
June
4 June Ruth Bancewicz will give a talk on “Wonders of the Living World” at the St. Martin’s and St Thomas’ Women’s Breakfast Group. 
7 June Ruth Bancewicz will be taking part in the Christians in Science Surrey Group presenting “Wonders of the Living World.”
20 June Keith Fox will give a talk on “Has science killed God?” as part of the King Edward VI School Science and Technology festival in Southampton.
April/May Update
Kenyan Christian Scientific Affiliation On May 11-12 Hilary Marlow and Keith Fox travelled to Kenya, to speak at the inaugural conference of the Christian and Scientific Affiliation of Kenya (the Kenyan equivalent of Christians in Science). Between them they delivered eight lectures on a wide range of science and faith topics stimulating discussion among delegates on the particular challenges in the Kenyan context.
Beth Singler, Research Associate on the AI and Robotics project, has been selected with Dr Ewan Smith of Pharmacology to make a short film for the University Public Engagement Team's Cambridge Shorts scheme on the subject of whether robots could, and should feel pain. 
Lizzie Coyle, our Youth and Schools Outreach Officer, continues to enhance discussions travelling the country interacting with school and college students on Big Questions such as "Fossils and faith" as well as being on the judging panel of the regional finals of Debating Matters on the topic "We should welcome the advent of human genome editing" 
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