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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 136 - June 2017


June 2017 Newsletter No. 136
Course Report: Hong Kong 
From 31 May to 3 June a team of speakers from The Faraday Institute were involved in giving a series of lectures at universities in Hong Kong. The speakers were Denis Alexander [Emeritus Director], John Wyatt [Emeritus Professor of Neonatology at University College Hospital, London] and the Rev. David Bookless [Director of Theology for environmental organization A Rocha International]. Topics ranged from ‘Are We Slaves to Our Genes?’, to ‘Can We Have Abundant Life (Without Trashing the Planet)?, to ‘Who Cares if We Live? Ethics at the Beginning and End of Life’ and ‘Artificial Intelligence and Human Identity’. Lectures were given at Hong Kong University and at the City University, with up to 160 present, and events also took place in other venues. Lectures led to vigorous times of questions and discussion. The Programme was hosted by the Faith and Science Collaborative Research Forum which is based at The University of Hong 

Photo: An audience at one of Denis Alexander's lectures at Hong Kong University 
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. 
Faraday in the Media
On Friday 2 June Hilary Marlow was interviewed about the US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement on the Big Conversation for BBC Radio Cambridge.(Scroll to 01:21:00 to hear Hilary).

On Sunday 21 May BBC Radio Cambridge had coverage of the Science Festival being held at Ely Cathedral, with this as the theme for the programme, Denis Alexander spoke on the interaction of science and religion. (Scroll to 02:10:50 to hear Denis).

On Sunday 11 June Keith Fox appeared on a feature length hour episode of the BBC The Big Questions exploring the ethics of genetic medicine/ “Is interfering with genes ethical?” (Scroll to 00:35:00  in to see Keith).
Research Seminar Series 
We had a very successful seminar series this term with all three seminars being packed-out. We will have a break for the summer and the series will recommence in the autumn. The dates have been set as follows: 10 & 24 October, 7 & 21 November. Watch this space for the announcement of speakers and topics.  
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 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

Day Course in Newcastle
Science & Religion
11 November

Day Course Cambridge
Physics and Faith: Exploring the Interface
25 November
Book Launch:  Genes, Determinism and God (Denis Alexander)
13 July 18:00-19:30
Cambridge University Press Book Shop CB2 3NR

Over the years, the pendulum has constantly swung between 'nature' and 'nurture' in the shaping of human destiny, a pendulum often energised by ideological factors. In recent decades, however, the flourishing of developmental biology, genomics, epigenetics and our increased understanding of neuronal plasticity have all helped to subvert this either/or dichotomy.

Nevertheless, the media still report the discovery of a gene ‘for’ this or that behaviour, and the field of behavioural genetics continues to extend its reach into the social sciences, reporting the heritability of such human traits as religiosity and political affiliation, with on-going implications for human freedom, moral responsibility, the legal system, and religious belief.

Join Denis Alexander, Emeritus Director of The Faraday Institute, at the Cambridge University Press Bookshop, for a short talk about the book, an opportunity to ask questions and to discuss further over refreshments
Click here to read the latest blog from Science and Belief: "Explaining, Not Explaining Away: Why the cognitive science of religion is good news for people of faith."
Upcoming External Events
Greenbelt Festival 25-28 August, Kettering
Come and find out more about the Faraday Institute and talk to some of our researchers in the “Take-Away” section of this year’s Greenbelt Festival.

Cambridge Festival of Ideas 16- 29 October
We will host the following two events at this year’s Cambridge Festival of Ideas

18 October “How do we know what we know?”
An interactive afternoon full of activities for school groups and young people aged 14-18. Explore what science and religious faith say about the world and how they interact, with a science magician, expert panel and hands-on experiments.

25 October “Why are we here?” 
The screening of an episode of the new four-part series in which Oxford physicist Ard Louis (a believer) and filmmaker David Malone (a non-believer) are on a quest to try to restore meaning, morality, and maybe even God to questions about why we are here. On their journey, they engage some of the world’s greatest scientists and philosophers. This will be followed by a panel with Ard Louis, David Malone and other specialists in the field. 

Bookings for the Festival of Ideas open in October.
Faraday Out and About in June/July
25 June Rodney Holder will be preaching at 10.00 am at St Mary the Virgin, Great Shelford, on science and faith. Note change of date from last month.
From 25-30 June Hilary Marlow and Jonathan Moo will be taking sessions on Creation and the Bible at the Faraday/A Rocha course “Creation, Christian Faith and a Precious World” at Les Courmettes, the A Rocha France Centre near Cannes. The programme will combine mornings of study with excursions and practical activities in and around the centre.

1 July Keith Fox will be at St James' Kidbrooke talking about "Can I blame my genes?"

On 6 July Hilary Marlow will participate (by Skype) in a consultation on Religion and Sustainable Consumption at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This initiative has developed out of the Torrecuidad seminar and declaration of June 2016.

3 – 7 July Amy Unsworth and Caroline Tee will travel to Switzerland for the International Society for Sociology of Religion Conference.

10-12 July Amy Unsworth will present at the Science in Public Conference Sheffield