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Short Course 31: Science and Religion: The Big Questions

Murray Edwards College: March 20-22, 2015

Deadline for applications: February 27, 2015
Deadline for Bursary applications: January 20, 2015

Aim of Course

This weekend course is for busy people who would like to obtain a broad introductory overview of the big questions in science and religion from top speakers in the field. Philosophers, scientists, historians and theologians will tackle a wide range of topics such as the conflict myth, rationality and knowledge, the nature of matter, God’s action in the world, genetics and determinism, ethical challenges in science.  There will be plenty of opportunity for group discussion and to interact informally with the speakers over the course of the weekend.

 We have experienced a problem with our booking system, if you booked between 7/1/205 and 20/1/2015 and have not heard from us please contact the office 01223 741281 or

Speakers (listed in alphabetical order) and topics

See multimedia items for this course or click on specific talk title in the course schedule to see available resources for that talk.

Click on a speaker's name to obtain brief biographical details.


The conference will be held in Murray Edwards College, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DF.

Murray Edwards (formerly New Hall), a modern and friendly college for women, provides excellent conference facilities with good access. The college is set in 11 acres of wooded grounds with informal lawns and gardens. 

You can find more information about Murray Edwards here.

For maps and directions click here.

Course Schedule

Friday March 20
6.00 pmArrival and Registration
6.45 pmDinner
7.45 pmIntroduction
8.00 pmRevd Prof. Keith Ward: Has science removed the need for God?
9.00 pmQuestions and Discussion
9.30 pmDrinks Reception - Getting to Know You
Saturday March 21
8.00 amBreakfast
9.00 amDr James Hannam: Can science and religion get on? Some lessons from history
9.50 amQuestions and Group Discussion
10.30 amCoffee Break
11.00 amRevd Dr Rodney Holder: Is the universe designed? Cosmology and the anthropic principle
11.50 amQuestions and Group Discussion
1.00 pmLunch
2.00 pmRevd Dr Gillian Straine: Does matter matter? Fundamental physics and ideas about God
2.50 pmQuestions and Group Discussion
3.30 pmTea Break
4.00 pmDr Denis Alexander: Did my genes make me do it? Genetics, determinism and God
4.50 pmQuestions and Group Discussion
6.30 pmGala Dinner
8.30 pmAny Questions?
9.30 pmBar and more Discussion
Sunday March 22
8.00 amBreakfast
9.00 amRevd Prof. Keith Ward: Why does nature suffer? Evolution, evil and the goodness of God
9.50 amQuestions and Group Discussion
10.30 amCoffee Break
11.00 amDr Cherryl Hunt: What is a person? Bioethical issues at the beginning and end of life
11.50 amQuestions and Group Discussion
1.00 pmLunch
2.00 pmDr Elaine Storkey: Should we be worried about climate change? Scientific, ethical and theological perspectives on the environment
2.50 pmQuestions and Group Discussion
3.30 pmTea and Depart