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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 138 - September 2017

 

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September 2017 Newsletter No. 138
As we return from a summer of events and courses, we are delighted to announce that we have now moved in to our brand new home in a new building in the grounds of Westminster College. Much hard work and organisation has gone on behind the scenes to enable a smooth transition. Although Benet House at St Edmund's College has been a great home for many years, we are excited to settle into our new environment and looking forward to the interactions it will bring. There is not much change for our events, our fortnightly seminars will still take place in the Garden Room at St Edmund's College, the locations for all other events will be clear and our lines of communication remain the same. A map of how to find us can be found on our website. We look forward to bringing you more news and photos of our new home next time.
The Faraday Institute at Greenbelt 2017
On the August bank holiday weekend, a team of Faraday staff headed to Boughton House in Kettering for the 2017 Greenbelt Festival. The weather was as beautiful as the setting! The theme of this year’s Greenbelt was The Common Good, aiming to get people to think of ourselves as a community, rather than just as individuals. The Faraday Institute had a large stand for people to visit and to find out about our work, do hands-on science, take part in some surveys and research as well as asking questions and chatting through issues in science and faith. It was great to see young and old interact over games and activities which included using sweets to make a model of DNA! Although it was an intense few days, the team enjoyed some fantastic interactions and conversations with a diverse range of people and returned to the Institute glowing with the warmth of the experience. It was a privilege to be included in such a great weekend.
Course in Croatia: Science & Religion
The Faraday Institute, in conjunction with other educational institutions from Oxford, Cambridge, Warsaw, Bochum and Zagreb, co-organised the 20th Study Week (BA and MA level: 28 - 31 August 2017) and Conference (research level: 1-2 September 2017) on 'Science and Religion' which took place in Trogir (Arbanija), Croatia.
This year, the study week and conference celebrated its 20th anniversary. The main organizer was Srećko Koralija, a Cambridge PhD student at St Edmund's College, whilst Keith Fox, our Associate Director, was one of the keynote speakers at the conference.
Both events hosted a group of almost 40 participants and speakers from Croatia, the United Kingdom, France, Poland, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Iran. They provided a unique opportunity to discuss questions about evolution and human genetics, whether a scientific culture can provide a satisfactory substitute for religion, what science tells us about religious postulates such as God, free will, and the soul, can God intervene in the natural world and does science provide an exhaustive view of human persons? The meeting was also mentioned on Croatian National Television.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the project, an organ concert was performed in the cathedral of Trogir by Maestro Alen Kopunović Legetin. The compositions played were written by composers from the countries of this year's participants.
 
Photo:  A group photo of some of the participants and speakers at the course. 
Research Seminar Series 
 
Seminars for the Michaelmas term will start again on the 10th October.

10 Octobe
The Neurobiology of Beauty and its Implications
Prof. Semir Zeki FRS (UCL)

24 October
Mathematics and the Beauty of God
Prof. David Watts (University of Manchester)
 
7 November
Gravity, Black Holes and Ultimate Reality
Prof. Christine Done 
(University of Durham)

21 November
Ritual, Community and Conflict
Prof. Harvey Whitehouse (Oxford University)

Our seminars are held at 1.00 pm on alternate Tuesdays during full term in St Edmund’s College. A free light buffet lunch and drinks are served from 12.30 p.m. onwards. All are welcome.
Courses

Day Course in Newcastle
Science and Faith: Building Bridges
11 November

Day Course Cambridge
Physics and Faith: Exploring the Interface
25 November
Faraday-CiS Lecture in association with the Christian Graduate Society

9 October 6.00 - 7.30pm
Prof. Henry (Fritz) Schaefer (University of Georgia, USA) 'Science and Faith: Friends or Foes?'
Pfizer Lecture Theatre, Dept. of Chemistry, Lensfield Road, CB2 1EW
 
Please note change of venue
Our termly lectures are free of charge and there is no need to book.
Workshops

Professional Workshop for church leaders
Science and Faith in the Local Church
Cambridge
10-11 January 2018
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. 
Upcoming External Events

Cambridge Festival of Ideas 16- 29 October
This year we will host the following two events at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas

18 October “How do we know what we know?”
An interactive afternoon full of activities for school groups and young people aged 14-18. Explore what science and religious faith say about the world and how they interact: with a science magician, expert panel and hands-on experiments.

25 October “Why are we here?” 
The screening of an episode of the new four-part series in which Oxford physicist Ard Louis (a believer) and filmmaker David Malone (a non-believer) are on a quest to try to restore meaning, morality, and maybe even God to questions about why we are here. On their journey, they engage some of the world’s greatest scientists and philosophers. This will be followed by a panel discussion with Ard Louis, David Malone and other specialists. 

27 October “Friend in the Machine” Can a robot be a true friend? Are we lonely enough to consider relationships with machines? How do we deal with a rapidly ageing population and fewer resources to care for our loved ones? What is companionship and can a machine be a substitute for a human companion? The second in a quadrilogy of short films exploring topical issues within the field of artificial intelligence - Friend in the Machine, presents fascinating insights from academia and industry about the world of companion robots and asks what it means to be human in an age of nearly human machines. 

Screening of this new short documentary film by Dr Beth Singler, Colin Ramsay and James Uren will be followed by a panel discussion featuring:
Dr Beth Singler (The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion)
Dr Ruth Jackson (CRASSH)
Kanta Dihal (Centre for the Future of Intelligence)
Noel Hurley (ARM)

Reception for Christians in the Cambridge Scientific Community

Monday 20 November
The Faraday Institute will hold the sixth annual reception for Christians in the Scientific Community on Monday 20 November 2017 starting from 6.00pm with hot buffet supper in Emmanuel United Reformed Church. The invitation is for all in the Cambridge area who self-identify as scientists (from graduate students to FRSs and Nobel prize-winners) and who also self-identify as Christians.This will include a short talk by Martin Frost, CEO of Cambridge Medical Robotics.
Save this date, tell others and book a place in due course