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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 135 - May 2017

May 2017 Newsletter No. 135
Course Report "Reading the World: Science and Sacred Texts"
A group of about 23 people gathered in the beautiful surroundings of Madingley Hall near Cambridge from 28-30 April to take part in the fortieth Faraday Short Course. The course was a direct output of the Research Sub-Project run by Dr Hilary Marlow and Dr Caroline Tee on Science and Scripture in Christianity and Islam. The delegates were a diverse mix of ages (from undergraduates to retirees), nationalities and backgrounds. They included a senior lecturer in Islamic civilisation from Malaysia, a Buddhist nun from Taiwan, an Anglican priest from Uganda (all studying or on research leave in the UK) as well as delegates from Brazil, Canada, Jamaica, Oman, Pakistan and the UK.
We were delighted with the atmosphere of positive dialogue that characterised the whole weekend. A highlight was the Saturday evening session on the practice of Scriptural Reasoning, groups discussing texts from the Qur’an and Bible on what it means to be human was an eye opener for many delegates.

Group Photo at Madingley Hall Courtyard.
A Rocha/Faraday Course in France
Creation, Christian Faith and a Precious World

25 June -1 July Provence
How did the universe come into existence? What can the natural world tell us about God? Why is our world habitable? How do natural processes such as earthquakes or predation fit with the goodness of God? What does the Bible say about the relationship between human beings and the rest of creation? Come and explore these and other scientific and theological questions about creation in the stunning scenery of the Les Courmettes estate in the hills above Cannes, France. This 5-day course is a partnership between The Faraday Institute and A Rocha France, and will include lectures, study sessions, practical activities and guided excursions, plus plenty of time for relaxation and solitude. Subsidised places are available for students and others on low income. For more information and to book visit .
Can't make our events in person, don't worry, all of our seminars, talks, lectures and public festivals are available on the Multimedia part of our website. We have over 600 talks for you to watch or listen to at your convenience. 
Research Seminar Series 

Following a successful start to this term’s Seminar Series, with almost 100 attendees at each of the seminars by Richard Middleton and Jennifer Wiseman, we have one more equally exciting topic to come: 

30 May
Transcending Nature? Christianity and Ecomodernism
Jonathan Moo Associate Professor of New Testament and environmental studies at Whitworth University in Spokane,Washington / Visiting Scholar of St Edmund’s College

Our seminars are held at 1.00 p.m. on alternate Tuesdays during term in St Edmund’s College. A free light buffet lunch and drinks are served from 12.30 p.m. onwards. All are welcome.

12 Faraday Summer Course
Cambridge Perspectives on Science and Religion

Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge:

Course in Hong Kong
When Science meets Faith
Various venues in Hong Kong: 31 May – 2 June

Course in France
Creation, Christian Faith and a Precious World
(A Rocha/Faraday)
25 June - 1 July

Course in Croatia
Science & Religion

Dalmation Coast
28 August – 2 September

The first seminar speaker of the term, Richard Middleton, has blogged about his book tour, read Part 1 of his blog here.

Steph Bryant: Youth and Schools Programme Officer
 We are delighted to welcome Stephanie Bryant as part of the Faraday Youth and School Outreach Team. Find out more about her here and watch out for updates on the fun and interactive things she gets up to.
Steph spent her childhood exploring the outdoors, burying her brother’s dinosaurs in the garden, learning about nature and playing with animals both in the UK and Oklahoma. Her questions about the world led her to the University of Cambridge where she studied Natural Sciences and became a Christian. Steph's studies focused on Ecology, Conservation Science, Evolutionary Biology and Physiology and she became ever more interested in the relationship between God, people and the planet. Since graduating, she has been involved in conservation projects that have taken her from studying wolves in Bulgaria, to frogs and salmon in Canada. She is especially interested in the ‘human side’ of conservation having spent time working with local communities and individuals from goatherds to landowners, in order to reduce human-wildlife conflict. She loves nature and spends much of her time encouraging others to consider what religious faith might have to say about caring for the natural world.
Steph is fascinated by the interaction of science and faith, and has spent the past three years co-ordinating the God and the Big Bang project for the Diocese of Manchester, going into secondary schools to explore the interaction of all sorts of different aspects of science and religious faith. Steph’s suitcase of science contains an eclectic mix of objects, from faux wolf-scat and everything you need for a miniature ocean, to the explosive (and fun!) combination of diet coke and Mentos sweets.

Steph hosting an interactive session on "Fibonacci patterns in nature."

Faraday ‘out and about’ in May/June

28 May Rodney Holder is preaching at 10.00 am at St Mary the Virgin, Great Shelford, on science and faith and on 13 June he is leading two sessions on science and faith at 9.30 am - 1.00 pm and 7.00 pm - 9.30 pm at Waterbeach, for curates in Ely Diocese  

22 May Singler will be at the Hay Festival talking on “Could and should robots feel pain?”
Keith Fox will be in Wareham on 7 June speaking on “Science and Religion: World’s Apart or Together?’” for the ‘Out-of-the-box’ discussion group. More details from He will also be speaking on "Working with Science and Faith" at Romsey Methodist church, Hampshire on 3 June (7pm)

Ruth Bancewicz will be speaking at the following events this month:
23 May Denis Alexander will be at Derby University presenting “Is there more to Life than Genes?” for the third lecture, in a series of four, on Faith and Science.

31 May Jennifer Wiseman and Beth Singler will give a talk at the British Science Association Sci-Screen for Alien: Covenant at the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse. 
The first month -long Ely Cathedral Science Festival kicks off on 19 May, there are many events for all interests and ages.There are "Nights at the Cathedral" with local scientists and technology companies and rocket launches, lectures, concerts, interactive days for children, debates and much more. Tickets are now on sale. During this month, members of the The Faraday Institute will be supporting the following:
Highlights of where Faraday has been in the last month
Alexander Massmann took part in a panel discussion as part of the British Science Association Sci-Screen series, following the screening of the documentary "Golden Genes". Alexander was a great success answering many questions from the audience with his knowledge and insight of the ethics involved in seeds and biobanks.
Beth Singler presented at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence  “Narratives of AI Workshop” at Hughes Hall  and  on 17 May  Prof. John Wyatt, the lead of the “Human identity and AI” Project ,with Beth discussed “Robots, humans, and the ethics of AI” at Theos in London
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