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Two-year Project Researcher/Administrator Post

December 29, 2009

Two-year Project Researcher/Administrator - Environmental Ethics, Politics and TheologyApplications are invited for the post of Researcher/Administrator on the project 'Hope

Two-year Project Researcher/Administrator - Environmental Ethics, Politics and Theology

Applications are invited for the post of Researcher/Administrator on the project 'Hope for Creation' administered by the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion (based at St. Edmund's College, Cambridge) jointly with the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics (KLICE) (based at Tyndale House, Cambridge). Applicants should be in sympathy with the aims and ethos of the Faraday Institute and KLICE. For further information visit:

Research.php (Project 6)
http://www.klice.co.uk/ (projects)

The postholder will be employed by St. Edmund's College and would work principally from Tyndale House and the Faraday Institute, St Edmund's College. Under the overall supervision of Professor Robert White (project director), s/he would report in the first instance to Dr. Jonathan Chaplin (Director, KLICE). The other member of the project team is postdoctoral fellow Dr Jonathan Moo (Faraday Institute).

The responsibilities of the post are:
*providing research support for members of the research team
*assisting in the organisation of an international conference on environmental ethics and policy projected for 2011
*writing accessible articles for church and wider public audiences in collaboration with other team members
*assisting in editing project outputs
*assisting Prof White in editing material for publication

The successful candidate will have at least a first degree in an environmental or geographical subject, environmental politics, or environmental theology/ethics. Familiarity with both environmental studies and environmental theology/theological ethics is highly desirable. The postholder will possess not only relevant research and writing skills but also administrative and organisational capacities.

This is a two-year appointment available immediately. Salary will be up to £27,000 pa according to age and experience and is pensionable (Universities Superannuation Scheme). Benefits include free lunches at St Edmund's College.

Informal inquiries may be directed to Dr. Jonathan Chaplin (contact details below),
to whom applications should be made by 1 February 2010. Application packages (which may be submitted by email) should include:
*covering letter
*a full CV
*a writing sample
*names and current contact details of 3 referees (two academic, one personal)

Interviews will held in Cambridge in mid-February 2010.

Dr Jonathan Chaplin
Director, KLICE
Tyndale House
36 Selwyn Gardens
Cambridge CB3 9BA
01223 566625
jc538@cam.ac.uk

John Polkinghorne 80th Birthday Essay Competition

December 11, 2009

Rev. Dr John Polkinghorne, a Faraday Advisory Board member, has been one of the leading figures of the science and

Rev. Dr John Polkinghorne, a Faraday Advisory Board member, has been one of the leading figures of the science and religion dialogue over the last 40 years and was the founding president of the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR). In honour of his 80th birthday, the ISSR are holding a major essay competition open to all students and junior academics (not yet in a tenured post) with a first prize of £10,000, a second prize of £5,000 and a third prize of £2,000. The winner will have the opportunity to present his/her essay at the 2010 ISSR/IRC conference, and may also be invited to contribute it to a special festshrift that is being prepared in Polkinghorne's honour. Click here or visit the ISSR website for more details.

Director's Interview on Darwin on front-page of Avvenire

December 8, 2009

The Faraday Institute Director, Denis Alexander, was recently interviewed for the Italian newspaper Avvenire on the subject of Darwin and

The Faraday Institute Director, Denis Alexander, was recently interviewed for the Italian newspaper Avvenire on the subject of Darwin and Religion (click here for a copy). This is in connection with the Director's participation in the Conference 'Dio Oggi' organised by the Bishops' Conference in Rome, December 10th-12th.

Institute Board Member writes in Nature on Darwin

December 8, 2009

Prof. R.J. Berry, a member of the Faraday Institute Advisory Board, recently published this letter in Nature concerning the 19th

Prof. R.J. Berry, a member of the Faraday Institute Advisory Board, recently published this letter in Nature concerning the 19th century reception of Darwinian evolution. Click here to down-load.

Test of FAITH in Australia

December 4, 2009

Australians seeking to think through issues in science and religion are being encouraged by the organisation ISCAST (The Institute for

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Australians seeking to think through issues in science and religion are being encouraged by the organisation ISCAST (The Institute for the Study of Christianity in an Age of Science and Technology) to take a look at Test of FAITH. Now that Australian distributors Koorong (www.koorong.com) are supplying the materials locally, members of ISCAST have started actively promoting the materials, even designing a portable video display (see picture) to publicize the DVD at conferences and meetings.

After viewing the award-winning documentary at their AGM in November, ISCAST have described 'Test of FAITH' as offering "an accessible introduction to the often complex dialogue between Christianity and the sciences, demonstrating that belief in God and genuine Christian faith are wholly compatible with honest, credible and rigorous scientific enquiry"

Produced by The Faraday Institute, with input from leading scientists and theologians, Test of FAITH's resources are designed primarily for churches and other groups of people who are interested in discussing science and faith in an informal setting. The DVD combines stunning visual imagery and interviews with top scientists to explore the dilemmas at the heart of the debate.

Since its launch at the Royal Society in July, the resources have been widely endorsed. Anthony Billington of The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity said, "It opens up complex issues in accessible ways. It will challenge assumptions and provoke questions, but will also dispel some current popular myths."

Atheist philosopher Michael Ruse has praised the film, describing it as "a fine, balanced presentation by thoughtful scientists on why there is no genuine conflict between their work and their religious faith and why indeed they find that science strengthens and enhances their sense of God's power and glory."

See www.testoffaith.com for more details and to view extracts.

 

Job vacancy for Faraday Institute funded project

November 30, 2009

The Institute wishes to appoint a self-motivated and experienced researcher to support a project looking at secondary school pupils' thinking

The Institute wishes to appoint a self-motivated and experienced researcher to support a project looking at secondary school pupils' thinking about science and religion.

Full details of the position may be downloaded here.

Let Newton Be! reviewed in Science

November 16, 2009

Let Newton Be! by Craig Baxter; directed by Patrick Morris, Menagerie Theatre Company, University of Cambridge, UK. October 2009. Commissioned

Let Newton Be! by Craig Baxter; directed by Patrick Morris, Menagerie Theatre Company, University of Cambridge, UK. October 2009.

Commissioned by the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, Cambridge.

Reviewd in Science by Rebecca Stott and Hannah Morrish

The article can be down-loaded in pdf format here

Or read it below:

Newton in Three Dimensions

Rebecca Stott and Hannah Morrish

Let Newton Be! by Craig Baxter; directed by Patrick Morris, Menagerie Theatre Company, University of Cambridge, UK. October 2009.

Commissioned by the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, Cambridge.

1 School of Literature and Creative Writing, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK. 


2 Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge CB2 8PE, UK.

E-mail: rebecca.stott@uea.ac.uk.

Two hours after the end of the play Let Newton Be!, we were still deep in conversation about it in a Cambridge pub. One of us is the author of Ghostwalk, a historical thriller about Newton's alchemy (1); the other, a theater student and actress. We went with different expectations and interests but came out equally excited. And we've gone on talking about the play since, as a body of ideas and as a theatrical experience. It deserves to be seen internationally.

Craig Baxter's new play premiered in late October at Newton's old college, Trinity. The performance we attended was introduced by the just-retired Lucasian professor of mathematics, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, and by Denis Alexander, director of the Faraday Institute for Religion and Science, which had sponsored the production as part of the celebration of Cambridge University's 800th anniversary and the International Year of Astronomy.

Baxter is unique. A playwright with a degree in zoology, he has been writing drama for 15 years. He has written ten plays, several adaptations, and a brace of radio dramas. But he has come into his own with his return to science in the past five years. His recent work includes The Altruists, about 20th-century evolutionary biologists, and Re:Design, a daring play based on Darwin's letters, composed entirely from Darwin's words and the words of his correspondents [reviewed in (2)].

Bringing Darwin to the stage was all very well. That was the 19th century, Darwin was liked and prolific, and there were thousands of genial and engaging letters from which Baxter could cut his material. Newton, however, is another country. He was troublesome. He was guarded, secretive, and paranoid. There is no consensus about his personality from his biographers. There are gaps in the historical record. There were few letters for Baxter to work with.

But there were words. Millions of them, from notebooks and personal accounts. The incomparable Newton Project, which over the past ten years has put four million of Newton's words online (making them widely accessible for the first time), has revolutionized the ways in which we can understand Newton. And Baxter has quarried these millions of words on theology, alchemy, mathematics, and physics to produce a Newton whom brilliantly he chose to split.

Baxter gives us a trinity of Newtons: the child Isack (played by Caroline Rippin), who runs and jumps and measures and records; the man Newton (played by Neil Jones), at war with himself, contemplative, constantly list-writing, driven, and on the brink of breakdown; and the mature Sir Isaac (played by Paul McCleary), self-possessed master of the mint. It would have been easy to present Newton's life chronologically, one Newton after the other. But Baxter has all three on stage all the time, challenging and questioning one another. That produces a multidimensional Newton-one who is indeed torn among selves, split, divided, energetic, and spilling over, but whom we see as a complete being. The result is a play that barely contains its own subject. This is the theater of ideas at its very finest. It is mesmerizing, inventive, and provocative.


Director Patrick Morris brilliantly choreographed the actors to orbit one another, constantly recomposing the geometry of a disordered mind. The young Newton keeps returning to his desk and to his accounts book, recording and repeating lists-of accounts of sins, of daily routines. This was a Newton who did not know how to stop and who was always preoccupied with theology, with defining a God and defining for God. Somewhere around the middle of the play, the anguished energy spills over into nightmare, and Newton breaks down. He is held down by his servants, only to get up moments later and start all over again. This is intelligent and psychologically perceptive direction, and the result is moving.

Newton's extraordinary mind is embodied not only in the text and the trinity of selves but also in the wonderfully effective and visually exciting set designed by Issam Kourbaj, artist in residence at Christ's College. The set transforms endlessly using Newton-like contraptions that open out into chairs, then to desks, then bookcases, then into models of windmills. Flecked with red velvet and the scribblings of the Lucasian professor's handwriting, the set folds and unfolds in and out of itself: windows within windows, wheels within wheels. If Newton's mind could be represented visually, this would be it.

Can theater be a platform for science? In the hands of Baxter, Morris, and Menagerie Theatre-yes. Spectacularly yes. Baxter cuts a man of science from the cloth of his own words, seeking to persuade us that Newton's science was always driven by a belief in an all-powerful and ever-present "God of Dominion." From the ramblings, jottings, accounts, and notebooks-the spillings over of Newton's strange inner world-Baxter creates a unified Newton who will awe and move modern audiences. This is Newton fully in three dimensions.

References
1. R. Stott, Ghostwalk (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 2007); reviewed in (3).
2. C. Thomas, Science 325, 679 (2009).[Abstract/Free Full Text]
3. J. Golinski, Science 321, 40 (2008).[Abstract/Free Full Text]

Change to Cis-Faraday Lecture

November 11, 2009

We will be showing the Test of Faith Documentary on Thursday 12 November instead of having Prof. Rosalind Picard speak

We will be showing the Test of Faith Documentary on Thursday 12 November instead of having Prof. Rosalind Picard speak on 'Playing God? Towards Machines that Deny their Maker.' Unfortunately Prof. Picard is unwell and cannot travel from the USA. The documentary will be screened at 5.30pm in the Queen's Lecture Theatre, Emmanuel College, as before. The Test of Faith Documentary investigates the question 'Does science threaten belief in God?' We will be showing parts 1 and 3 of the documentary: 'Beyond Reason' and 'Is Anybody There?' For more information on the documentary, please visit www.testoffaith.com. The screening will be followed by a free drinks reception and a bookstall. All are very welcome.

Let Newton Be! - premiere performance

November 9, 2009

On 20th October 2009, Let Newton Be!, a play by Craig Baxter, received its first performance by the Menagerie Theatre

news image

On 20th October 2009, Let Newton Be!, a play by Craig Baxter, received its first performance by the Menagerie Theatre Company in the Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College, Cambridge. This performance was exclusively for members of the College and special guests. Prof Stephen Hawking, recently retired Lucasian Chair of Mathematics, gave a witty introductory speech in honour of the former chair holder, Isaac Newton.

Newton expert, Prof. Robert Iliffe, Director of the Newton Project based at the University of Sussex led a discussion about the dramatisation with the audience at the end of the performance.

Let Newton Be! is a unique play that brings the complex and controversial character of Sir Isaac Newton to life, using his own words and those of his contemporaries. It is a verbatim play, the script drawn entirely from the written words of Newton and his contemporaries- letters, notes, published and unpublished works. The play is a compelling narrative showing Newton in many different lights; as the young boy measuring the speed of wind; the isolated Cambridge scholar, practising alchemy in the secrecy of his darkened room; and the autocrat of British Science, ruling the Royal Society with an iron fist. Perhaps for the first time, we see Newton as a human being-complex, comical, driven and vulnerable.

......a gripping new play about Isaac Newton by Craig Baxter....provides an absorbing insight into the troubled relationship between science and theology at the Enlightenment.

John Cornwell, The Tablet

Menagerie Theatre Company, based in Cambridge, specialise in new writing for the theatre. Let Newton Be! is their second commission from Cambridge University organisations and follows the success of Re:Design, a dramatic adaptation of the correspondence between US botanist Asa Gray and Charles Darwin.

Let Newton Be! is directed by Patrick Morris, Associate Artistic Director of Menagerie and designed by Issam Kourbaj, Artist in Residence, Christ's College, Cambridge. Commissioned by The Faraday Institute as part of Cambridge University's 800th anniversary celebrations, with funding from the Cambridge 800th Anniversary fund and the John Templeton Foundation, the play was performed to four audiences, including members and non-members of the University of Cambridge. A tour throughout the UK and US is planned for 2010.

Faraday Course Director discusses multiverses and faith on BBC Radio Cambs

October 13, 2009

On Sunday 11th October, Dr Rodney Holder was interviewed by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire about his public lecture ‘Is there more

On Sunday 11th October, Dr Rodney Holder was interviewed by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire about his public lecture ‘Is there more than one universe?’, which took place on 12th October, at Wesley Methodist Church, Cambridge. To listen to the interview please click here, and forward to 2:48:20.

Review of new film Creation about Darwin posted in the Current Issues Folder

September 30, 2009

To read the review of the film 'Creation' about Darwin click on the Issues link at the top.

To read the review of the film 'Creation' about Darwin click on the Issues link at the top.

Faraday Associate Director, Bob White, discusses 'Creation in Crisis' on BBC Local Radio

September 28, 2009

On Sunday 27th September, Prof Bob White, was interviewed by BBC Radios Cambridgshire, Manchester, Wiltshire, Bristol and Belfast, about the

On Sunday 27th September, Prof Bob White, was interviewed by BBC

Radios Cambridgshire, Manchester, Wiltshire, Bristol and Belfast, about the latest book he has edited from a Faraday workshop, 'Creation in Crisis' (SPCK, 2009). He discussed a Christian approach to the environmental crisis, and what people of faith can do to engage with the problems faced. To listen to his interview on BBC Radio Cambs., please click here (1 hour, 3 mins into the programme). His interview with BBC Radio Bristol can be listened to here (1 hour, 30 mins into the programme).

“What has theology ever done for science?” The Director responds to a question from Daniel Dennett.

August 24, 2009

To view Denis Alexander's response click on Current Issues in the navigation bar on the left.

To view Denis Alexander's response click on Current Issues in the navigation bar on the left.

Creation in Crisis: the latest book edited by Faraday Institute Associate Director Bob White

August 14, 2009

On 20th August 2009,‘Creation in Crisis: Christian Perspectives on Sustainability’, the latest edited book by Prof Bob White Associate Director

On 20th August 2009,‘Creation in Crisis: Christian Perspectives on Sustainability’, the latest edited book by Prof Bob White Associate Director of the Faraday Institute, will be published by SPCK.

Much is written about climate change and environmental degradation but in practise little is done about it. Why? Leading environmental scientists increasingly recognise that a fundamental lack of shared belief and communal vision is a barrier to action, and that engaging religious communities is critical if there is to be any genuine and lasting change. 'Creation in Crisis' represents the fruits of a workshop where leading scientists, economists and theologians sat down together to discuss the root causes of environmental unsustainability and to challenge each other to develop an authentically Christian response to this global crisis.

‘Creation in Crisis’ is insistent in its overall message that the economic mantra of exponential growth is not an option for a sustainable future, whilst it also challenges the often nihilistic secular worldview that does not promote an optimistic engagement with the environmental challenges we face. This diverse and wide-ranging collection of essays offers an ethical framework and a message of hope for a sustainable future in harmony with the rest of creation.

a first-class collection of essays, ranging from broad profound theological reflection to the fine detail of scientific and statistical evidence. A vital resource…it deserves a very wide readership.’ Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

Contents and contributors include:

  • Sir John Houghton – Global warming and energy consumption 
  • James J. McCarthy - Climate science distortion and the misinformation industry
  • Donald A. Hay – Discounting the future: economic responses to climate change
  • Sir Brian Heap, Flavio Comim, George Wilkes – International governance: economic self-interest vs. biblical values
  • John Guillebaud, Pete Moore – Sustainability and population 
  • Robert S.White – Natural disasters: human folly or acts of God?
  • Ellen F. Davis – A biblical perspective on culture and agriculture 
  • Calvin B. DeWitt – Agriculture and land use: restoring stewardship
  • Richard C. Carter– Sustainability and water use
  • C. René Padilla –Globalization, ecology and poverty
  • Hilary Marlow –Society, ecology and biblical prophecy 
  • Richard Bauckham – Jesus, God and nature in the Gospels
  • Michael Northcott – Ethical sustainability 
  • Douglas J. Moo – Transforming Christian perspectives
  • Jonathan Moo – A biblical vision of the earth’s future

Director interviewed about atheism and RE teaching in schools on BBC Radio Newcastle

July 29, 2009

On Tuesday 28th July, The Faraday Institute Director, Dr Denis Alexander, was interviewed on the breakfast show on BBC Radio Newcastle about

On Tuesday 28th July, The Faraday Institute Director, Dr Denis Alexander, was interviewed on the breakfast show on BBC Radio Newcastle about atheism and education. To listen please click here. The interview takes place 2hrs 18minutes into the programme.

Faraday Summer Course Delegate Cormac O'Raifeartaigh Provides a Useful Summary of the Course

July 21, 2009

Click here for a link to Cormac O'Raifeartaigh's blog.

Click here for a link to Cormac O'Raifeartaigh's blog.

Director reports on science and religion in the Darwin Festival on the Daily Telegraph web-site

July 17, 2009

To access the report click here.

To access the report click here.

Director participates in Westminster Abbey debate: Did Darwin Kill God?” chaired by Sarah Montague. Click here for a link to the Times on-line podcast.

June 12, 2009

The Times on-line podcast for the Westminster Abbey debate is available here.

The Times on-line podcast for the Westminster Abbey debate is available here.

Did Darwin Kill God? There will be a free showing of this BBC Documentary introduced by the presenter Conor Cunningham. 5.45pm, Tuesday 7 July in Mill Lane Lecture Room 3

June 9, 2009

There will be a free showing of the BBC Documentary Did Darwin Killl God? introduced by the presenter Conor Cunningham.5.45pm, Tuesday

There will be a free showing of the BBC Documentary Did Darwin Killl God? introduced by the presenter Conor Cunningham.
5.45pm, Tuesday 7 July in Mill Lane Lecture Room 3
The film will be followed by free refreshments with a bookstall available.
All are welcome.

University of Cambridge Darwin Anniversary Festival

June 9, 2009

Science and Religion topics related to Darwin are being well covered during the Darwin Festival. Click on the events below

Science and Religion topics related to Darwin are being well covered during the Darwin Festival. Click on the events below to see further details:

Monday 6th July, 2.00 - 5.30 p.m. Afternoon Focus Programme on 'Theology in Darwinian Context'. The Institute Director will be one of the speakers during this Programme. Pre-Registration required. For further details click here (http://www.darwin2009.cam.ac.uk/festival/afternoonfocus/)

Tuesday 7th July 2.00 - 5.30 p.m. Afternoon Focus Programme on 'The Evolution of Religion'. Pre-Registration required. For further details click here (http://www.darwin2009.cam.ac.uk/festival/afternoonfocus/).

Tuesday 7th July 5.45 p.m. Afternoon Fringe Programme. The Faraday Institute hosts a showing of the popular BBC2 documentary 'Did Darwin Kill God?' at the Mill Lane Lecture Theatre 3. The film will be introduced by the presenter Conor Cunningham who will take questions after the showing. Entrance is FREE and there will be drinks and a bookstall to browse afterwards including a range of books on Darwin and Religion. For further details click here: http://www.darwin2009.cam.ac.uk/festival/fringe/programme.asp

Thursday 9th July and Friday 10th July. 7.45 p.m. ADC Theatre. There will be showings of the excellent dramatisation Re:Design by the Menagerie Theatre Company, written by Craig Baxter; directed by Paul Bourne; featuring Terry Malloy as Charles Darwin. Based on Darwin's correspondence with devoutly Christian Harvard Botanist, Asa Gray. For further details of this ticketed event see: http://www.darwin2009.cam.ac.uk/festival/fringe/programme.asp

Test of Faith resource materials now available from the Faraday shop

June 1, 2009

Test of Faith is an innovative new resource designed for use by individuals and small groups wishing to explore major

Test of Faith is an innovative new resource designed for use by individuals and small groups wishing to explore major issues raised by science for both religion and ethics.

Groups can save money by buying the complete Test of Faith Course Pack but items may also be bought separately. Use the Shop page link in the navigation bar on the left.

Faraday London Lectures 26th - 28th May

May 15, 2009

As part of the Pentecost Festival, the Faraday Institute will be holding three lectures in London, on 26th, 27th and

As part of the Pentecost Festival, the Faraday Institute will be holding three lectures in London, on 26th, 27th and 28th May. Prof. Colin Humpreys will speak on 'Can a scientist believe in miracles today?' on Tuesday, Revd Dr David Wilkinson will speak on 'God and the Big Bang' on Wednesday and Dr Denis Alexander will speak on 'Creation or Evolution - do we have to choose' on Thursday. For more information, see the poster.  If you wish to book tickets, please visit the Pentecost Festival Website.

Darwin and God - high profile debate in Westminster Abbey. 6.30p.m. Tuesday 12 May

May 11, 2009

On 12 May, there will be a high profile debate in Westminster Abbey (where Darwin is buried) chaired by the

On 12 May, there will be a high profile debate in Westminster Abbey (where Darwin is buried) chaired by the BBC Today Programme presenter Sarah Montague. This will explore the compatibility of belief in God and Darwinian evolution. The panellists will include Lord Robert Winston, Professor Steve Jones, Dr Denis Alexander, and Professor Nancy Rothwell FRS.

This debate will draw on the findings of a major quantitative study conducted by polling company ComRes. This provided, for the first time, comprehensive data about the extent and nature of evolutionary and non-evolutionary opinion in the UK and its relationship to atheistic and religious beliefs. The resulting report 'Rescuing Darwin - God an Evolution in Britain Today' is being sold from the Faraday Shop folder.

A poster is avaialble here .

Director interviewed on transhumanism at Cambridge Papers Conference in Cambridge

May 11, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAYtTadQ8vk

Faraday speaker Ken Miller on the Today Programme

April 29, 2009

On 29th April 2009, Ken Miller was interviewed by John Humphries on the Today Programme.He discusses the topic of his

On 29th April 2009, Ken Miller was interviewed by John Humphries on the Today Programme.
He discusses the topic of his recent Faraday lecture on the enduring problem of the 
Intelligent Design movement in the US and his position on faith and science. To listen 
to the interview please click here.

Faraday speaker Ken Miller discusses faith and science on Premier Radio

April 28, 2009

On 27th April 2009, Faraday speaker Prof Ken Miller was interviewed by Andy Walton on London's Premier Christian Radio. Miller, a Professor of Biology

On 27th April 2009, Faraday speaker Prof Ken Miller was interviewed by Andy Walton on London's Premier Christian Radio. Miller, a Professor of Biology from Brown University and well known in the science-religion field, discussed the scientific integrity of evolution in contrast to that of the ID movement ahead of his public lecture for the Faraday Institute, to be held 5.30pm at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. To listen to this interview please click here.  

Darwin Anniversary Conference in Istanbul

April 27, 2009

 26th April 2009Darwin Anniversary Symposium held in IstanbulIn commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and

 26th April 2009


Darwin Anniversary Symposium held in Istanbul

In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, a two-day symposium and major public meeting has been held in Istanbul, attended by distinguished international speakers and delegates from Turkey and other countries. 

This is the first time that Istanbul, one of the major cities of the world in history, culture and learning, has hosted an international scientific meeting on evolution. A special web-site has been established at www.Darwin200Istanbul.org to provide information about Darwin’s life and evolution in both Turkish and English. 

On the evening of Friday, 24 April, over 400 students and others gathered at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Istanbul to commemorate ‘Darwin the Man’. Historian John Hedley Brooke introduced Darwin, not only as the great natural historian who changed the face of biology, but also as a man who experienced both adventure and tragedy in his life.  

Darwin was also brought back to life in theatrical form with the first performance in Turkey of Re:Design, a dramatization performed by the Menagerie Theatre Company of the famous correspondence between Charles Darwin and the American biologist Asa Gray.

Turkish national television (TRT) filmed a discussion of Darwin’s fascinating theory of evolution for a TV show presented by Mithat Bereket in which an international panel of four biologists and one journalist took ‘hard’ questions from the audience about the fossil record, the evolution of humans, and the relationship between science and religion.  

Prof. Asli Tolun from Bogaziçi University spoke about the impact of evolution on the genetic diversity of the Turkish people, relevant to both medicine and the tracing of migratory pathways.  Prof. Francisco Ayala of the University of California offered a critique of Intelligent Design and explained why he sees evolution as Darwin’s great gift both to science and to religion. Prof. Simon Conway Morris of Cambridge University showed how evolution repeatedly leads to similar biological forms and that the evolution of intelligent creatures like ourselves is not unexpected. 

The evening public event was preceded by a two-day scientific Symposium addressing cutting edge evolutionary biology and the challenges of teaching biological evolution in Turkey today. The Symposium was attended mainly by biology faculty and PhD students from universities all over Turkey.

Two speakers, Prof. Erksin Gulec  (Ahi Evran University, Turkey) and Prof. David Lordkipanidze (Georgian National Museum), surveyed recent finds in Turkey and  Georgia, respectively, relevant to human evolution. The discoveries from Georgia show that Homo erectus was present in Europe far earlier than previously imagined.

Prof. Sukru Hanioglu, Professor of Near East Studies at Princeton University, was unable to be present in person, but made a special film for the Symposium, showing how evolution in the 19th century was conveyed to Ottoman society more as a philosophy than as a biological science. In fact Darwin’s Origin of Species was not translated into Turkish until 1971. 

Speaker John Hedley Brooke remarked that “Many scientists are commemorated on their anniversaries; there is nothing peculiar about that. However, one has to concede that Darwin's scientific ideas are seen as particularly controversial, so it's important that we refine our insights about Darwin and his ideas and that we learn the quality of the science that supports his view.”

Speaker Francisco Ayala commented that: “Evolution is the central concept in biology.  Agriculture, medicine, and some aspects of industry can only be properly understood in the context of evolution, so Darwin is very relevant to modern life”.

Turkish NTV News Channel reports Istanbul Darwin Conference. To view click here.

The Symposium and public event were both organised by The Faraday Institute, Cambridge, and supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. This is one of a series of events this year in which The Faraday Institute is involved in commemorating the Darwin200 Anniversary. 

For media enquiries, please contact Katie Turnbull (tel: 44-1223-740929) kjt39@cam.ac.uk or Clare Redfern (tel: 44-1223-741276)  cer58@cam.ac.uk


 

NEW FARADAY PAPERS by Dr Graeme Finlay on Human genomics and the Image of God and by Prof. Ernan McMullin on The Galileo Affair now available for free down-load from the Faraday Papers folder

April 15, 2009

To download the papers (Dr Graeme Finlay on Human genomics and the Image of God and Prof. Ernan McMullin on

To download the papers (Dr Graeme Finlay on Human genomics and the Image of God and Prof. Ernan McMullin on The Galileo Affair) as pdfs click on Faraday Papers in the navigation bar on the left.

10 copies of each paper may be purchased from the on-line shop for £1.50 per pack of 10 (plus p&p).  The two new papers are now included in the pack of all Faraday Papers - avaialble at £2 per pack.

FARADAY INSTITUTE SPONSORED DOCUMENTARY WINS FILM AWARD

April 1, 2009

The documentary film Test of Faith sponsored by The Faraday Institute and written and produced by Contrapositive has won a

news image

The documentary film Test of Faith sponsored by The Faraday Institute and written and produced by Contrapositive has won a prestigious film award for excellence. The documentary, yet to be released (but see www.testoffaith.com for a trailer), has been produced as part of a broader project headed up by Dr Ruth Bancewicz to research and publish course materials for churches on science and faith.

Test of Faith won the Silver Award for Best Documentary in the 2009 International Visual Communications Association Awards, a leading European, professional body which promotes best practice for the award-winning corporate and public sector communications industry.  The IVCA Awards are the leading international Awards for corporate communications, whether for business, public service organizations, or charities.  The Awards recognize excellence in communication with awards made in 30 categories, judged by over 130 respected communications professionals over three weeks.

Writer Mark Brickman and Producer John Ford from Contrapositive receive the Silver award here.

Darwin’s Religious Beliefs. See our Issues Folder for a new article by Nick Spencer.

March 25, 2009

Click here to link to the issues folder.

Click here to link to the issues folder.

Faraday's Associate Director discusses Science and Religion on Radio New Zealand

March 18, 2009

On March 14th, Prof Bob White was interviewed on Radio New Zealand  by the presenter Kim Hill. Prof White¹s interview

On March 14th, Prof Bob White was interviewed on Radio New Zealand  by the presenter Kim Hill. Prof White¹s interview followed a week of  lectures and talks on a broad range of topics relating to science and  religion, which took place in Auckland and Wellington. It is the first time a Faraday Institute course and public lectures have been held in New Zealand, with large attendances at all events. To listen to the interview please click here

Faraday speakers discuss 'God and Darwin' at the Cambridge Science Festival

March 18, 2009

On March 14th Faraday Institute Director Dr Denis Alexander chaired a lively panel discussion on 'God and Darwin' with Prof. Simon Conway

On March 14th Faraday Institute Director Dr Denis Alexander chaired
a lively panel discussion on 'God and Darwin' with Prof. Simon
Conway Morris, Prof. Michael Reiss, Prof. John Hedley Brooke and Dr David Summers. 
The Science Festival event was a great success, with excellent contributions from the experts, a packed auditorium of 250 people and 
enthusiastic Q and A session with the audience. To listen or watch the
discussion again, please click on audio or video . 

Cambridge Science Week Event

March 9, 2009

A Panel Discussion on ‘God and Darwin’ will be held as part of the Cambridge Science Festival at 3.00 p.m.

A Panel Discussion on ‘God and Darwin’ will be held as part of the Cambridge Science Festival at 3.00 p.m. on Saturday, 14th March, in the Queen’s Lecture Theatre at Emmanuel College. All welcome to this free event. Down-load the poster here .

John Polkinghorne discusses 'Questions of Truth' the title of his latest book, on the Today Programme.

March 2, 2009

Monday 2nd March. Revd Dr John Polkinghorne, former physicist and Anglican priest defends the reasonableness of religious belief in a debate

Monday 2nd March. 

Revd Dr John Polkinghorne, former physicist and Anglican priest defends the reasonableness of religious belief in a debate with John Humphrys.  His latest book, 'Questions of Truth' is launched today at the Royal Society.

To listen to the discussion, please click here for ‘listen again’ options on the Today Programme website. (article at 8.54 am)

Faraday Institute Advisory Board Member Prof. Alister McGrath gives Gifford Lectures this month

February 11, 2009

The prestigious Gifford Lectureships were established by Adam Lord Gifford (1820–1887), a senator of the College of Justice in Scotland.

The prestigious Gifford Lectureships were established by Adam Lord Gifford (1820–1887), a senator of the College of Justice in Scotland. The purpose of Lord Gifford's bequest to the universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, St. Andrews and Aberdeen was to sponsor lectures to “promote and diffuse the study of Natural Theology in the widest sense of the term—in other words, the knowledge of God”.

A copy of the press release for Alastair McGrath's 2009 lecture is available here.

'Rescuing Darwin – God and evolution in Britain today’ - new 70-page report by Nick Spencer and Denis Alexander for sale (65% discount to £3.50 plus p&p or FREE (plus p&p) with any other book purchase.

February 2, 2009

The 70-page report published by Theos, containing five chapters, presents and discusses the latest quantitative survey findings by the polling

The 70-page report published by Theos, containing five chapters, presents and discusses the latest quantitative survey findings by the polling company ComRes concerning the level of belief and disbelief in Darwinian evolution in the UK today. The poll was based on 2000 respondents and represents the most reliable recent data on this topic available. The report also contains chapters on Darwin’s own religious beliefs, analyses why Darwin still remains in the cross-fire in the year of his double anniversary, and discusses how theism and evolution can be held together in a coherent way.

If purchased with another book the report will be free but we will ask you to pay for the postage.
On the shop page select the report with the other book(s) you wish to purchase.
The link to the Faraday on-line shop can be found in the navigation bar on the left.

Free Offer. Copy of ‘Rescuing Darwin’ report free to those who purchase a book from the Faraday Shop

February 2, 2009

On the shop page select the report with the other book(s) you wish to purchase.  The report will be free

On the shop page select the report with the other book(s) you wish to purchase.  The report will be free but we will ask you to pay for the postage.

The link to the Faraday on-line shop can be found in the navigation bar on the left.

Celebrating Darwin's Birthday

January 27, 2009

This year marks a double anniversary for Charles Darwin [birth: Feb 12th , 1809; publication of On the Origin of

This year marks a double anniversary for Charles Darwin [birth: Feb 12th , 1809; publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859]. The Faraday Institute is celebrating the anniversary through lectures, panel discussions, courses, books and more popular articles.


To view Celebrating Darwin's Birthday events, please click here

Keith Ward discusses science, the ‘new atheism’ and faith on Premier Radio

January 27, 2009

On Tuesday 27th January, Philosopher Prof Keith Ward was interviewed by London’s Premier Christian Radio, concerning his forthcoming public lecture

On Tuesday 27th January, Philosopher Prof Keith Ward was interviewed by London’s Premier Christian Radio, concerning his forthcoming public lecture for the Faraday Institute. Please click here to listen to an extract from the interview.

 

Faraday Speaker, Keith Ward, discusses faith, science and the ‘New Atheism’ on BBC Radio Cambs

January 26, 2009

On Sunday 25th January, Philosopher and former Oxford Don, Prof Keith Ward, was interviewed on BBC Radio Cambs’ Sunday Morning

On Sunday 25th January, Philosopher and former Oxford Don, Prof Keith Ward, was interviewed on BBC Radio Cambs’ Sunday Morning Breakfast Show, ahead of his appearance as guest lecturer for the Faraday Institute’s termly public lecture. The lecture, which takes place on Tuesday 27th January, 5.30pm at Queen’s Lecture Theatre, Emmanuel College, addresses the phenomenon of the ‘new atheist’ movement and the on-going philosophical debate concerning the compatibility of faith and science. To listen to the interview please click here*    

 

*The interview takes place 1 hour 49 mins into the programme, with forwarding options available.