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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 89 - June 2013

1. Faraday Seminars
2. Faraday Courses in Central America - Report
3. Staff Activity – Dr Diana Beech
4. Faraday Public Lecture
5. St Petersburg Course
6. Faraday Summer Course
7. Faraday Course in Southampton
8. Books
9. Smartphone App
10. Christians in Science Job Vacancy
11. UAB 2013 Essay Competition

1. May was a busy month for the Faraday Institute, with two seminars and two overseas courses. The first seminar on the 14th was ‘Does Cognitive Psychology Subvert Religious Belief’ by Prof James Jones, Distinguished Professor of Religion and Adjunct Professor of Clinical Psychology at Rutgers University. The second, on the 28th was ‘The Emergence of Human Persons: Between the Scylla of Dualism and the Charybdis of Reductionism’ by Prof Tim O’Connor, chair of the Department of Philosophy at Indiana University and a member of its Cognitive Sciences Program. Both seminars were well attended and included lively question and answer sessions. The final seminar of the term will be on ‘Jesus, Darwin and Ashley Montagu’ by Prof Gregory Radick, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Leeds. It will take place at 13.00 on Tuesday 11th June in the Garden Seminar Room at St. Edmund’s College []. This talk will be followed by an opportunity for an extended discussion with the speaker, which all are invited to attend. As usual, the seminar will be preceded by a free buffet lunch from 12.30 p.m.

2. Two courses took place in Central America, co-sponsored by The Faraday Institute in collaboration with local institutions. Dr Denis Alexander (Emeritus Director), Revd Dr Rodney Holder (former Course Director) and Dr Hilary Marlow (Course Director) spoke at courses in Mexico (May 13th-14th) and Guatemala (May 16th-19th). In Puebla, Mexico, the course on Cosmology and Theology was sponsored by the Universidad Popular Autonomo de l’Estade de Puebla (UPAEP), and formed part of their 40th anniversary celebrations. A mainly academic audience of about 50 people heard lectures from distinguished Latin American speakers as well as the English-speaking ones, and the provision of simultaneous translation enabled the full participation of all. The course in Guatemala City entitled ‘Science and Faith: Two Windows, One Reality’ took place at SETECA (Seminario Teológico Centroamericano) and was attended by over 70 scientists, theologians, and social scientists representing a wide range of ages and stages, including many theological students from the seminary. There was great enthusiasm among many of the participants for continuing the science and faith dialogue in Guatemala, and the local organisers are already talking about running another course in the future.

3. On 14th and 15th May, Dr Diana Beech attended the ‘Researcher Careers and Mobility’ Conference hosted by the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, where she acted as rapporteur for a workshop on the benefits of international mobility (including virtual mobility) for future European science.

4. This term’s Faraday Public lecture will be given by Faraday Emeritus Director Dr Denis Alexander on ‘Genes, Determinism and God’ at 5.30p.m. on Thursday 6th June in the Queen’s Lecture Theatre at Emanuel College. The lecture will highlight the main themes of Dr Alexander’s Gifford Lectures, recently given under the same title at St. Andrews University.

5. In June, Dr Holder and Dr Marlow along with Prof Keith Fox will participate in a Science and Religion Conference in St Petersburg, Russia, hosted by the St Petersburg School of Religion and Philosophy (27th-30th); course details can be found on the website

6. Information about The Faraday Institute Summer Course 2013, entitled ‘Science and Religion – Two Paths to Truth?’ is also available on the web. This course is open for applications until 7th June and will take place in Cambridge 7th-13th July 2013. See for more details.

7. Looking further ahead, a one-day course entitled ‘Science and Faith: An introduction” is planned for Saturday 30th November in Southampton. Further details will follow in future newsletters and can be found now on the Faraday website: .

8. Two recent Faraday books are available from our online shop:
[]. The Isaac Newton Guide Book (including a DVD of the play Let Newton Be!), RRP is £25, is available via the Faraday shop for the discounted price of £15. Orders need to specify whether you need a PAL (Europe) or NTSC (North America) format DVD. Copies of Georges Lemaître: Life, Science and Legacy, edited by Rodney Holder and Simon Mitton (Royal Astronomical Society/Springer), are also available. The book examines the historical, cosmological and theological issues surrounding the development of the Big Bang theory from the pioneering work of Lemaître up to the present day.

9. The Faraday Institute’s new smartphone app continues to be popular. The Android platform app can be found in the Google Play store at:
The iPhone app can be found in iTunes online at:

10. Christians in Science (CiS) has asked us to draw people’s attention to the full-time Development Officer (DO) job that they are advertising. The DO will expand and consolidate CiS’s work in universities, workplaces and churches, interacting with student groups and church leaders, representing CiS at exhibitions, helping organise conferences, supporting CiS local groups and developing resources. The successful candidate must be in sympathy with the aims and ethos of CiS. Full details may be obtained from Dr Diana Briggs at or for an informal discussion, contact Professor Keith Fox (, tel. 023 8059 4374). See for more details.

11. Finally, the Uses and Abuses of Biology programme 2013 essay competition has been launched this month. The competition is for anyone aged 30 or younger, and encourages participants to engage with the use and abuse of biological thought in non-biological fields including philosophy, politics, media, sociology and theology. The title of this year's essay is 'How is contemporary biology used for ideological purposes?' More details of the competition can be found at and the competition closes on 30th November 2013.

Bob White Meric Srokosz
[Director] [Associate Director]