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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 25 - February 2008

For those living in the Cambridge area, we still have a few tickets left for the performance of ‘RE:DESIGN’, the Dramatisation by Craig Baxter of the correspondence of Charles Darwin and Asa Gray put on by the Menagerie Theatre Company. This is a preview prior to the company’s forthcoming US Tour. The Faraday Institute is hosting the show at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday 7th Feb in the Garden Seminar Room at St. Edmund’s College. Tickets (which include a drink) are only £2 each (to be collected at the door) and may be secured by e-mailing Polly Stanton at faraday.administrator@st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk .
Our main termly CiS-Faraday public lecture is also coming up this month to be held on Thursday 21st Feb at 5.30 p.m., when Prof. John Wyatt will be speaking on ‘What is a Person? Matters of Life and Death’, in the Howard Lecture Theatre, Downing College, Cambridge. The lecture will be followed by refreshments with a bookstall available, and of course all living in the Cambridge area are welcome. Prof. Wyatt is Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics at University College London and a Consultant Neonatologist at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, an internationally-recognised tertiary centre for the care of the newborn.
 Prof. John Hedley Brooke got the new Faraday Research Seminar series off to a flying start this term with a well-attended talk entitled ‘Should the Word ‘Nature’ be Eliminated? A Historical Survey’ (answer ‘probably yes, albeit with some difficulty’!). Our next Research Seminar will be by Revd Dr John Polkinghorne KBE FRS on 5th Feb at 1.00 p.m. on the topic ‘The Future of the Science-Religion Debate’. Dr Polkinghorne will also be speaking at a major lecture organised as a collaboration between the Veritas Forum and the Faraday Institute to be held on Saturday, 1st March, in the Babbage Lecture Theatre at 8.00 p.m. entitled ‘Science in the Public Sphere’. On the same day Dr Denis Alexander will be giving a seminar as part of the same collaborative venture entitled ‘Dawkins, Science and Faith’ at 5.00 p.m. in the Emmanuel College Seminar Rooms.
 Those in the London area might like to put Saturday 10th May in their diaries as on that day the Faraday Institute is organising a series of open lectures and other activities in the afternoon and evening as part of our outreach in the area of the public understanding of science and religion. Key-note speakers will be Prof. Alister McGrath and Prof. Bob White FRS. Further details may be found by clicking on:
http://www.pentecostfestival.co.uk/programme/big_ten_pages.php?page=faraday .
 A longer term date for the diary is a day conference on ‘The Root Causes of Unsustainability’ to be held in Cambridge on 25th June 2008 jointly between the Faraday Institute and the John Ray Initiative: there is an excellent line-up of speakers including Dr Jim McCarthy (President-elect AAS), Prof Donald Hay (Oxford University), Prof Cal de Witt (Wisconsin & Au Sable Institute), Prof John Guillebaud (Oxford University), Sir John Houghton, FRS, Lord Brian Griffiths, Sir Brian Heap, FRS (Cambridge), Prof Michael Northcott (Edinburgh University) and Prof Bob White, FRS (Cambridge University). Entry will be by free ticket and registration details will be published shortly.
 The Day Conference will be followed on 27-29 June by a Faraday Short Course entitled ‘Science, Religion and the Environment’ at which many of the same speakers will be presenting. Registration for this Course is now open.
 The New Year for the Faraday Institute started in energetic mode during 4-6 January with a well-attended Faraday Course entitled ‘Introduction to Science and Religion’ with, as usual, a broad repertoire of international delegates and an excellent line-up of speakers. Our next course will be a ‘first’ for the Faraday Course series, this time focusing on ethics under the title ‘Ethics on the Frontiers of Science: Religion – Help or Hindrance?’ Speakers include Prof. Michael Reiss, Professor of Science Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, and Director of Education at the Royal Society; Prof. Gareth Jones, Professor of Anatomy and Structural Biology, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Otago, New Zealand; Prof. Tim Maughan, Professor of Cancer Studies at the School of Medicine in Cardiff University; and Dr Neil Messer, Senior Lecturer in Christian Ethics at Lampeter University. There are still a few places left on what promises to be an outstanding Course, so early registration is recommended for those who wish to secure a place.
 As usual the Faraday Staff have been out and about lecturing in various parts of the country this past month. Denis Alexander gave a talk on science and faith attended by 400 people at Howell Hill in London, and Bob White gave several talks on a Christian response to global climate change.


Denis Alexander      Bob White
[Director, Faraday Institute]    [Associate Director]