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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 26 - March 2008


 Those who appreciate the Faraday Papers might be interested to know that several translations of Papers into different languages have started being posted up on the web-site. First to go up are Papers in Chinese (in both simplified and traditional Chinese characters), German and Serbian. Other languages in the pipe-line include Portuguese, French, Spanish and, possibly, Japanese and Russian. If there are other languages into which you would like to see Papers translated, then please do let us know.
 Those living in the Cambridge area are invited to a book launch of ‘Cherishing the Earth: How to Care for God's Creation’ by Martin Hodson and Margot Hodson, a book on practical environmental theology. This is part of a project arising from a collaboration between The Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics (KLICE) and the Faraday Institute and will be held on Tuesday 11 March, 1.00 - 3.00pm, in the Upper Hexagon, Tyndale House, Cambridge.  Margot Hodson will be present and will speak at the event, after which there will be an open question time. A light lunch will be provided. Copies of the book will be on sale.
 Bookings are now being taken for the day conference on 25th June in Cambridge on ‘The Root Causes of Unsustainability’ that the John Ray Initiative and the Faraday Institute are running jointly.  Spaces are limited and it has an excellent line-up of speakers, so you are advised to make a (free) reservation as soon as possible: details can be downloaded with a flyer from www.jri.org.uk/news/Unsustainability_leaflet.pdf. If you are interested in this topic, why not take a mini-break in Cambridge and stay on for the Faraday Course on ‘Science, Religion and the Environment’ which will delve deeper into these issues over the weekend 27-29 June.
 This has been a busy month of Faraday activities. The Dramatisation by Craig Baxter of the correspondence of Charles Darwin and Asa Gray put on by the Menagerie Theatre Company went really well and we had a full house for this event. Immediately after the dress rehearsal, the company went off for a very successful  tour to the US and you can watch a video of their performance at MIT, Boston, at: http://www.templeton.org/.
 Further highlights of the month include the excellent termly CiS – Faraday public lecture given by Prof John Wyatt on ‘What is a Person? Matters of Life and Death’, and two Faraday Research Seminars. In fact with 90 present, the Seminar by the Revd Dr John Polkinghorne KBE FRS on ‘The Future of the Science-Religion Debate’ broke our attendance record for this lunch-time seminar series. Those who know Cambridge University will know how unusual that kind of number is for a lunch-time seminar, with dozens of other seminars going on round the university at the same time. We are also delighted that Professor John Wood, Principal of the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial College, London, took time out from a very busy schedule to give a seminar on ‘Ethical Aspects of Science Policy’. Prof. Wood is involved in many of the major European joint funded large science projects, and it was fascinating to have an overview of the ethical challenges raised by such ‘big science’. All these recent seminars are already up on the web-site at www.faraday-institute.org in mp3 formats.
 Those who use the Multimedia Folder at the Faraday web-site regularly may notice that we are currently playing ‘catch-up’, trying to put up on the site the many Faraday Course lectures that have been accumulating over the past few months. There are now 210 separate items in the Folder, with quite a few waiting to be posted. The topic categories are not always that clear so we are currently re-organising the page and will be introducing a dedicated search engine. In addition we will be putting in a more complete set of links from the Archives sections of the Courses and Seminars web-pages.
 Our next Faraday course will be on ‘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. The dead-line is fast approaching so book now if you are interested in attending what looks to be a fascinating and challenging programme.
 Faraday Staff have, as usual, been active in speaking at different events round the country during the past month. Around 600 people attended Denis Alexander’s lecture at St. Andrew’s University, Scotland, on the topic ‘Does Science Make Religion Redundant?’, given as part of the new James Gregory series of termly lectures on science and religion (see: www.jamesgregory.org/ ). Bob White spoke on a Christian response to global climate change at a day conference in Belfast and at the University of Plymouth amongst various venues.

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