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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 140 - November 2017

November 2017 Newsletter No. 140
As we come to the end of the first term of the academic year, we have lots of news, from exciting seminars, awards and news of past and future courses and events.
 

Professional Workshop: Science and Faith in the Local Church

10-11 January 2018, St. Edmund’s College


After its success last year, we are delighted to be hosting our second professional workshop aimed at church leaders, lay or ordained, and those in training. The two day workshop will include lectures by leading experts on key issues at the intersection of science and Christian faith such as responses to natural disasters, evolutionary biology, ecology, bioethics, artificial intelligence and neuroscience. There will be plenty of opportunity for group discussion and practical application to local church contexts.
The cost is £50 and includes tea and coffee breaks, a sandwich lunch on both days and all workshop materials. Places are limited to 50 and going fast so don’t miss out on this great opportunity – Book HERE
Pain in the Machine wins 
“Best Research Film of the Year”

On 9 November the award ceremony for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research in Film Awards 2017 was held at BAFTA in London. We are delighted that the first in the quadrilogy of AI short-documentaries “Pain in the Machine” won  ‘Best Research Film of the Year.’ The second film in this series “Friend in the Machine” was launched at this year’s Cambridge Film Festival and can be viewed in the link below.
 
Photograph of the film makers Colin Ramsay and James Uren (Littledragon Films) researchers Dr Beth Singer and  Dr Ewen St.John Smith  holding Harry the Roomba robot. Taken byTim Stubbings.
Watch the second film in the series "Friend in the Machine" 
New book: Blue Planet:Blue God 
We are delighted to announce that the latest book from a Faraday research project “Blue Planet: Blue God” comes out this month.
 
The ocean dominates the surface of the earth and is in the pages of the Bible too. The Bible offers a view of the sea and the life it supports which affirms its intrinsic value to God as a good, and indeed essential, part of creation.

At the same time, it also speaks perceptively of the sea's vulnerability to damage and change. The Bible's focus on the sea raises questions about economics and the interconnectedness of communities, whilst further references to the sea raise questions about our human-centredness and spirituality, and about our fear of chaos and disaster.

In a unique collaborative project, the oceanographer Meric Srokosz and the biblical scholar Rebecca Watson not only offer environmental insights on the sea, but also connect the ocean with other key issues of broader concern-spirituality, economics, chaos, and our place in the world.
Buy the book here and watch a short interview with Meric about the book. There will be announcements of book launches in our next newsletter. 
 
Research Seminar Series 
 
We have had a great start to the academic year with four well-attended seminars.

Seminars for the Lent term will start again on the 23 January 2018

23 January
Science and religion: The context for debate
Prof. Grace Davie (University of Exeter)
 
6 February
Conceptions of sin and the nature of social life: Anthropology and the theology of atonement
Prof. Joel Robbins
(University of Cambridge)

20 February
Resisting blind chance and 'senseless' cosmos: Historical perspectives on science, ethics and nature
Dr Louise Hickman
(Newman University, Birmingham)

6 March
The search for meaning amidst cosmic annihilation, transhumanism and the last judgement
Dr Michael S Burdett
(University of Oxford)

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

Day Course Southampton
3 February 2018
National Oceanographic Centre, Southampton.

Frontiers in Science and Society: Christian Perspectives. Speakers: Prof. Neil Messer, Prof John Byant, Prof. Meric Srokosz, Dr Hilary Marlow, Prof. Keith Fox
Registration details to follow soon.

Day Course in Plymouth
24 February 
Details to follow.

Day Course in Derby
24 February 
Details to follow.
Click here to read Michael Reiss's blog “Evolution and Education: Why faith schools should teach more evolution”
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. 
Call for Papers
 
"Reading is believing? Sacred Texts in a Scientific Age"
 
We invite abstracts for short papers from any academic discipline for this multi-disciplinary academic colloquium that forms part of Faraday’s research project “Science and Scripture in Christianity and Islam”. The Colloquium will take place on 23-24 March 2018 at Clare College, Cambridge. Registration is now open, full details  of booking for the event and paper submissions can be found here.

Abstracts can be submitted until the deadline of 31 December.
Click here to watch the seminar "Gravity, Black Holes and Ultimate Reality" given by Prof. Chris Done
Faraday "Out & About " - What have we been up to? 
 
Denis Alexander has been busy this month; he spoke on the subject of creation and evolution in the Faringdon Town Hall, at the annual men's dinner for St John’s Church, Tunbridge Wells, at a breakfast at Christ’s College, Cambridge and in the Dept. of Philosophy, Leeds University, on ‘Genes, Determinism and God’.

Rodney Holder has spoken on 'The Cosmos, Stephen Hawking and God' to the Christians in Science, Surrey local group in Purley, 'Science and Faith' to the Cambridge Federation and 'Cosmology, Theology, and the Anthropic Principle' at the Faraday Institute Day Course on 'Physics and Faith', Darwin College.

Ruth Bancewicz has been delivering a variety of sessions including: A sermon on “Tough Questions: Science” at City Church Cambridge, “God in the Lab” talk at the Diocese of Chester day conference and God in the Lab: When curiosity leads to wonder, awe, and the big questions of life’, St John’s and All Saints’ Waterbeach, Third Space Conversations.


Caroline Tee spoke at the Woolf Institute research day on 'Miracles in the Qur'an'. She also had a chapter accepted for publication in 'Turkey's July 15th Coup: What Happened and Why' (eds. Hakan Yavuz and Bayram Balcı), Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press 2018. Title of chapter is 'The Gülen Movement and the AK Party: The Rise and Fall of a Turkish Islamist Alliance'

Our School Outreach Team have had a busy term including a day in Manchester Cathedral on “Fossils and Faith/ Creation Care” speaking to primary schools on “Scientists, Inventors and Faith,” exhibiting at a teacher conference, delivering a variety of lessons in both primary and secondary schools as well as hosting a morning for sixth formers with Christine Done on “Black holes, the Big Bang and God: Is there still space for faith?"

Course Review: Physics and Faith: Exploring the Interface
 
One cold and frosty Saturday, we were delighted that more than 40 people of all ages and backgrounds attended our latest exciting day course. Prof. Russell Cowburn (Principal Investigator on our Nanotechnology Project, Research Director at the Cavendish Laboratory and a Fellow of Darwin College – where it was held) had put together a varied programme which was scientifically rigorous yet personal at the same time.  As one person commented “All excellent, relevant and the total amounting to much more than the sum of the parts”. The films of the talks will be up on our website in due course.
 
Upcoming Events

For those who would like a quiet day next week, marking Advent before getting into the hurly-burly of Christmas, Rodney Holder is leading a retreat entitled 'Behold, I am coming soon' based on his Advent book Longing, Waiting, Believing in the beautiful setting of Otley Hall, Suffolk: see http://www.otleyhall.co.uk/ where you will find a programme and booking form.

Public Lecture
15 February 2018 
Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Prof. John Wyatt and Prof. Peter Robinson
God, AI and humans - could robots replace humans made in the image of God?


Day Conference: Extending Life at Any Cost?
Thursday 15 February 2018
Cambridge
 
On the 15
 February 2018 the Faraday Institute and the Wolf Institute will jointly host a one-day conference entitled ‘Extending life at any cost?’. The conference will explore the issues surrounding end of life palliative care, including the role hospices, hospitals and communities of faith play in understanding what constitutes a ‘good death’, technology related to extending life and the implications of AI for human dignity when life is extended through transhumanism.
 
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