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Faraday lectures and other events

The termly public lecture in Cambridge is given on some aspect of science and religion by an internationally recognised speaker. Whilst academically rigorous, the lectures are accessible to a multidisciplinary audience. They take place in a variety of venues in Cambridge. The lectures are free of charge and there is no need to book. They are followed by a free drinks reception and an opportunity to talk informally with the speaker.

Video recordings of the lectures are made and the entire archive is available for free download from the Multimedia page on the Faraday Institute website, as are transcriptions of discussions with the speaker and an invited set of guests in the evening following each lecture.

In addition to the termly lecture series The Faraday Institute organises regular lunchtime seminars in Cambridge, one-day, weekend and week-long courses in Britain and abroad, and lectures or panel discussions at Science Festivals and other similar events.

Lecture archive

Do Scientists Believe in God? Results from an Eight-Nation Study

Prof. Elaine Howard Ecklund

5.30 pm Thursday November 17, 2016

Howard Lecture Theatre
Downing College
Regent Street

Scientists have long been associated with religion’s decline around the world. But little data permit analysis of the religiosity of scientists or their perceptions of the science-faith interface. Here Ecklund presents the first ever survey and in-depth interview data from biologists and physicists in eight regions around the world—France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States (N = 9,422 surveys and 609 in-depth interviews). The data collection includes biologists and physicists at all career stages from elite and non-elite universities and research institutes. Ecklund and colleagues uncovered that in most of the national contexts studied, scientists are indeed more secular—in terms of beliefs and practices—than those in their respective general populations, although in four of the regional contexts, over half of scientists see themselves as religious. And surprisingly, scientists do not think science is in conflict with religion. Instead, most see religion and science as operating in separate spheres or, under certain conditions, actually collaborating. As part of her lecture she will pay particular attention to the UK and what implications these data have for the science and faith interface in the UK.