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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 28 - May 2008

We would like to start with a reminder of the special programme of events in London on the public understanding of science and religion on Saturday 10th May 2008:

Afternoon Location: University College London (LT1 Cruciform Lecture Theatre)
[nearest Northern Line Tube stations are Warren Street/Euston Square]

2.30 p.m. - Prof. Bob White FRS: A Christian Response to Global Warming

4.00 p.m. - Prof. Alister McGrath: Building Bridges Between Science and Faith

 The free afternoon lectures are partnered with two free children's workshops (which start 10 mins prior to the adult lectures), so why not make it a family day out? See the Faraday web-site home-page for further details.

Evening Location: Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre, City University, Northampton Square, London
[Nearest Tube Station: Angel, Northern Line]
Buffet: 6.30 p.m.
Lecture: 7.30 p.m. Prof. Alister McGrath: The Dawkins Delusion: Has Science Killed Off God?
This is a ticketed event (£10) and tickets can be purchased on-line from:
www.pentecostfestival.co.uk/science.

Alternatively you can now purchase tickets direct from the Faraday Institute by e-mailing Jenny Bulger at: jb460@cam.ac.uk.

This past month saw our first Faraday Course focused entirely on ethical issues, although we do try and build ethical issues to some extent into most of our Courses. Ethics will certainly not be lacking from our next Course on ‘Science, Religion and the Environment’ over the weekend 27-29 June. Speakers include Prof. Sir John Houghton FRS, Dr Marie Connett Porceddu, Prof. Calvin DeWitt, Prof. Richard Bauckham, Prof. Douglas Moo and Dr René Padilla. Bookings are also in progress 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 many speakers at the week-end Faraday Course will be speaking on that day as well, 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.

Now well into the new term, the Faraday Research Seminar series is once again under way. On 13th May, Prof. Michael Welker [Heidelberg University] will be speaking on ‘Science and Religion or Science and Theology’, and on 27th May, Dr Michael Banner [Cambridge University] will be addressing the topic ‘On the Care to be had of the Dead: Some Issues Arising from the Human Tissue Act’.

This term’s CiS – Faraday Lecture on Thursday 5th June at 5.30 p.m. in the Queen’s Lecture Theatre at Emmanuel College will take the form of a discussion between Prof. Richard Swinburne [Emeritus Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion, University of Oxford] and Prof. Colin Howson [Professor of the Philosophy of Science, London School of Economics] on the topic ‘Simplicity and Complexity – God, Science and Dawkins’. Interlocutors will include Prof. Michael Welker [Professor of Theology, Heidelberg University] and Dr Patrick Richmond [previously Chaplain at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge]. The discussion will centre round the question raised by Richard Dawkins in his book ‘The God Delusion’: "Does postulating God as cause and sustainer of the universe provide a simple explanation for the existence of a complex universe?"

Members of the Faraday Institute continue to be active in speaking and publishing on a broad range of topics in both science and religion. Bob White has recently published a paper in Nature showing the crustal structure that was created when the North Atlantic opened 55 million years ago (White et al., ‘Lower-crustal intrusion on the North Atlantic continental margin’, Nature, vol. 452, pp. 460–464). Research Associate Jason Rampelt recently had a paper published entitled: "The Last Word: John Wallis on the Origin of the Royal Society". (History of Science 46, II: 152 (2008), 177–201.) Course Director Rodney Holder spoke, and was involved in two panels, on science and religion (with Lewis Wolpert and others) at an international conference ‘Statistics, Science and Public Policy’ held at Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex. Rodney Holder’s paper 'Modern Science and the Interpretation of Genesis: Can We Learn from Dietrich Bonhoeffer?' is published in Theology and Science, 6 (2), 213-231, 2008.

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