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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 133 - March 2017

March 2017 Newsletter No. 133
Reading the World: Science and Sacred Texts
 
There is still time to book a place on the Faraday Short course “Reading the World: Science and Sacred Texts.” The course will explore the rich tradition of reading the Scriptures of Christianity and Islam, and how this relates to scientific discoveries. The course will be ideal for anyone interested in finding out more about the Bible and Qur’an and their relevance today. 28 - 30 April 2017 at Madingley Hall, Cambridge. Reduced rates available for students.
 
Cambridge Science Festival Events 2017

Almost the entire Faraday Institute team were to be found at the Old Divinity School, St John’s College on Monday afternoon and evening, 13 March.  The occasion was our principal contribution for this year’s Cambridge Science Festival.  Masterminded by Eleanor Puttock, External Communications Officer, an interactive exhibition showcasing all our research projects was well attended with over 200 people passing through. Much was imparted, exchanged and enjoyed.  We also screened a film version of the play “The God Particle” by inspiring comedy writer James Cary, which was followed by a panel discussion and Q&A. It was evident that this went down very well too, and we highly recommend it
as a fun means of talking about Science and Religion. The play is available on DVD.

In addition, Revd Dr Roger Abbott, who works on the religious and cultural impacts of natural disasters upon Christian communities, delivered the guest sermon at the Cambridge Science Festival Choral Evensong at Great St. Mary’s, the University Church.
 
If you missed the Exhibition at the beginning of the festival; we still have one more event on Saturday 25 March . Why not visit the University Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Centre (Merton Hall Farmhouse, JJ Thompson Avenue, CB3 0FD), during the last weekend of the Cambridge Science Festival and meet staff from the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion and staff from the forthcoming Ely Science Festival. Details here.
This year’s Summer Course

We are delighted to announce that this year our summer course will feature renowned academics from Cambridge including five Fellows of the Royal Society.

Cambridge Perspectives on Science and Religion

Our Summer Course this year is different from all the courses that we have run since 2006. This time we are aiming to show-case Cambridge University Science and Religion, so nearly all the speakers are from Cambridge. Those not presently at Cambridge have close historical links with the University.
There are plenty of top scientists on the programme this year, so we hope that many scientists in particular will be interested in coming. Having said that, all our courses are open to those from any disciplinary background and all speakers are encouraged to make their talks accessible to all.

The big questions that this course addresses are perennial ones. Does science tell us all we need to know about the world? What philosophical and theological questions does scientific progress raise? How have science and religion interacted in the past and how do they do so today? What are the ethical issues arising from new scientific and technological discoveries?

Come and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of a Cambridge College while you grapple with these and other questions in the dialogue between science and religion. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion. Every summer after the course is over, delegates go away with a new network of friends and contacts in the science and religion field.
   
Research Seminar Series

Next term’s Research Seminar Series will commence on 2 May on the following themes:
 
2 May
Human Distinctiveness and the Origin of Evil in Biblical and Evolutionary Perspective
Richard Middleton (Professor of Biblical Studies at Northeastern Seminary, USA).
 
16 May
Galaxies, Stars, Planets, and Life:  Investigating a Fruitful Universe
Jennifer Wiseman (Director for the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion)
 
30 May
Transcending Nature? Christianity and Ecomodernism
Jonathan Moo (Associate Professor of New Testament and environmental studies at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington/ Visiting Scholar of St Edmund’s)

Our seminars are held at 1.00 p.m. on alternate Tuesdays during term in St Edmund’s College. A free light buffet lunch and drinks are served from 12.30 p.m. onwards. All are welcome.
Other Faraday Courses
 
Faraday Day Course in Cardiff
Big Questions in Science and Faith
25 March Cardiff
 
A Rocha/Faraday Course in France
Creation, Christian Faith and a Precious World
25 June -1 July Provence
Can't make our events in person, don't worry, all of our seminars, talks, lectures and public festivals are available on the Multimedia part of our website. We have over 600 talks for you to watch or listen to at your convenience.
Faraday ‘out and about ‘in March/April
 
On 28 March Hilary Marlow will be leading a day of lectures and discussion on the topic of creation and the Bible for Masters students from Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington DC, who are visiting Cambridge for their Spring School.
 
Lizzie Henderson will be on the road visiting an array of primary and secondary schools for assemblies, single lessons and day conferences covering topics such as “Fossils and Faith, Human Evolution, History of Life on Earth.”
Updates of Faraday Events and Engagements in March
Public Lecture: Science and Christianity: Conflict or Co-operation?
This was the provocative title of our latest termly lecture in conjunction with CiS (Christians in Science) on Thursday 2 March here at St Edmund’s College. Professor Roger Trigg ably answered the question, with an audience of almost 70 enjoying it very much. The date of the next lecture is still to be confirmed, although for those of you who like advance planning, we have already booked Dr Rowan Williams for 9 May 2018 (next year!).

Last month, Hilary Marlow gave a talk on “Humanity, Nature and Ethics: Perspectives from the Christian tradition” to the Philiminality Society, a student-led interdisciplinary society in Cambridge. She also spoke on “Valuing the earth in the Christian tradition” at an interdisciplinary workshop on Faith, Energy and Society co-hosted by The Faraday Institute.
 
Rodney Holder spoke on ‘Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles?’ to a record-breaking audience of 80 people for Science in Faith Norfolk at Holy Trinity Church, Norwich.
 
13-18 March Denis Alexander travelled to Brazil and delivered five lectures at a conference and symposium hosted by the University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil. He also delivered a Sermon in the Presbyterian Cathedral, Rio de Janeiro entitled ‘Science and Faith – More Similar Than You Think.’

Lizzie Henderson, has delivered numerous sessions, during the last month, around the country as part of National Science Week including a large LASAR sixth-form conference held in Westminster Abbey “If Not Post-truth Then What Truth? Unfolding the Road map of Knowledge.”
 
It has been a busy few months for Beth Singler, our Research Associate working on the project “Human Identity in the Age of Nearly Human Machines,” she has been travelling internationally and nationally presenting and taking part in conferences. Examples include:

    Being invited by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for a UK/German collaborative workshop for AI experts and researchers, held at the British Embassy in Berlin.
    Speaking at a school in Portsmouth to 15 year old computer scientists, 17 year old Philosophy and Religious Studies students, and 7 year olds doing a project in creative writing on robots.
    Teaching sessions on AI and Transhumanism, and New Religious Movements for an MA course held at Sarum College, Salisbury.

Beth is also booked for festivals such as the Hay Literary Festival, Cheltenham Science Festival and the Cambridge Literary Festival – watch this space for more information!
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