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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 142 - January 2018

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January 2018 Newsletter No. 142

Professor White is awarded the Gold Medal for a lifetime of distinguished achievement in solid Earth geophysics.

We are delighted that our Director, Professor Bob White, has been awarded the “Gold Medal for a lifetime of distinguished achievement in solid Earth geophysics" from the Royal Astronomical Society.Each year the Royal Astronomical Society recognises significant achievement in the fields of astronomy and geophysics.

Professor Bob White was awarded the Society’s highest honour, the Gold Medal, for a lifetime of distinguished achievement in solid Earth geophysics, a field to which he has made fundamental and transformative contributions over the course of a remarkable research career. His research has spanned five different areas of Earth science: mid-ocean ridges, mantle plumes and flood basalts, continental rifting, convergent margins, and dyke injection, seismicity and volcanism. Alongside his work in Cambridge, since 2010 he has also been an adjunct professor at the University of Iceland, where he studies volcanic rift processes and maps movement of magma beneath the surface.

He has trained more than 50 students and post-doctoral researchers, many of whom have taken up senior faculty positions in academia and industry. Professor White’s early research career was in marine geophysics, where his work on magmatism associated with the early stages of rifting is probably the best known, most influential and most cited in his career so far. More recently, he has worked extensively and fruitfully in Iceland on the elevated Mid-Ocean Ridge where, in 2014-15, his group used an array of 75 broad-band seismometers to study a 46-kilometre-long dyke culminating in a surface eruption. His 250 peer reviewed publications on geodynamics and geophysics have been cited more than 5,500 times and are a testament to the huge impact he has had on our understanding of the solid Earth.

 To read the full announcements of all the awards and details go to

Course: Disasters, Faith, and Resilience

Westminster College (Cambridge)

13-15 April 2018

This course explores the causes and effects of disasters on those caught up in them, and the role that religious faith has on those affected. We cover disasters with undoubted human causes, including the Lockerbie air crash, murders and epidemics, and so-called ‘natural disasters’, such as the New Orleans hurricane and the Haiti earthquake, which killed 230,000 people. It transpires that ‘natural’ disasters often owe their major impact to human factors. An international panel of expert speakers will address theological aspects thrown up by our experience of disasters and suffering; scientific causes and possible responses to disasters; and the practical ways in which we might respond as individuals and as communities to disasters both at home and abroad. The weekend will be enriched by personal testimonies from those who have been through deep disasters in Haiti, New Orleans, Lockerbie and Africa.

Deadline for applications: 26 March 2018
Faraday Professional Workshop: Science and Faith in the Local Church
 This month we welcomed over 40 church leaders to St Edmund’s College for two days of teaching, discussion and hands-on activities. Our aim was to demonstrate, to both lay and ordained leaders, how science can be integrated into the life of the local church. The Faraday staff enjoyed giving lectures
that were both theological and practical, aiming to inspire new -based activities in churches across the country. Discussions ranged from in-depth analysis on the topics, to nuts-and-bolts planning of events. Judging by both the feedback and book sales, we can expect these leaders to do great things back in their own parishes!

For resources for your church just get in touch.
Research Seminar Series 
Seminars for the Lent term will start again on the 23 January 2018

23 January
Science and religion: The context for debate
Prof. Grace Davie (University of Exeter)
6 February
Conceptions of sin and the nature of social life: Anthropology and the theology of atonement
Prof. Joel Robbins
(University of Cambridge)

20 February
Resisting blind chance and 'senseless' cosmos: Historical perspectives on science, ethics and nature
Dr Louise Hickman
(Newman University, Birmingham)

6 March
Seminar relating to Natural Disasters.
Title tbc

Revd. Dr Roger Abbott
(The Faraday Institute)

Our seminars are held at 13:00 on alternate Tuesdays during full term in St Edmund’s College. A free sandwich lunch and drinks are served from 12:00 onwards. All are welcome.

Day Course Southampton
3 February 2018
National Oceanographic Centre, Southampton.

Frontiers in Science and Society: Christian Perspectives. Speakers: Prof. Neil Messer, Prof. John Byant, Prof. Meric Srokosz, Dr Hilary Marlow, Prof. Keith Fox
More information and book here.

Day Course in Plymouth
24 February 
St Andrew's Church, Plymouth.
Science: Exploring God's Creation

Speakers: Revd Dr Ernest Lucas, Dr Cherryl Hunt and Prof. Keith Fox, Dr Trevor Stammers.
For further information contact Dr David Huntley
Fantastic New Video "The Theology of Suffering:Natural Catastrophes andHurricane Katrina - Stories of Impact"

Explore the relationship between Hurricane Katrina survivors and their faith – a faith that enabled them to rebuild their community in the wake of devastation and profound loss.
Click here to read the latest Science and Belief Blog "Rare Earth: Why 'simple' life may be common in the universe but animals may be unique to our planet."
In this video Prof. Meric Srokosz, co-author of 'Blue Planet, Blue God', discusses the impetus to create a book exploring both the biblical and scientific aspects of the oceans. A unique collaboration between oceanographer Meric Srokosz and biblical scholar Rebecca Watson, 'Blue Planet, Blue God' offers not only ecological insights into the ocean, but also broader issues around spirituality, economics, chaos, and our place in the world.
Book Launch

The launch of the Book 'Blue Planet, Blue God' will take place at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, SO14 3ZH on Saturday 3rd February at 16:00. 
For more information and to book go to
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. 
Upcoming Events
Public Lecture
17:30 - 19:00 15 February 2018 
Queen's Lecture Theatre, Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Prof. John Wyatt and Prof. Peter Robinson
God, AI and humans - could robots replace humans made in the image of God?

Followed by a drinks reception. 

Day Conference: Extending Life at Any Cost?
10:30 -16:30 Thursday 15 February 2018
The Shasha Conference Suite
The Woolf Building, Cambridge
On the 15
 February 2018 the Faraday Institute and the Wolf Institute will jointly host a one-day conference entitled ‘Extending life at any cost?’. The conference will explore the issues surrounding end of life palliative care, including the role hospices, hospitals and communities of faith play in understanding what constitutes a ‘good death’, technology related to extending life and the implications of AI for human dignity when life is extended through transhumanism.

Booking is essential at the Eventbrite Page

Cambridge Science Festival 2018
How do we make sense of the world in times of adversity?
14 March 2018 19:00 – 20:30 Old Divinity School (St. John's)

Ever wondered what we do in times of adversity? Why do disasters strike? Why are some people more resilient than others? How do we make sense of it all? Interviews and Q&A with researchers in a range of fields dealing with disasters, health and scientific advances.
Booking will open in February. 
Doors open at 18:30 and refreshments finish at 21:15

In addition there will also be an interactive exhibition showcasing the Faraday Institute's big research projects “ The Science of Human Flourishing” before and after the event.  
School Outreach Upcoming Events

After a fantastic start to the academic year our School Outreach Team have a another packed schedule ahead. Here are just a selection of the things they will be doing in the coming weeks: 

27-28 January 
Steph Bryant
Eastern Region Ministry Course Weekend on 'Science, Philosophy and Faith'
Session: 'Exploring Science and Religion with Children and Young People'
30 January 
Lizzie Henderson and Steph Bryant
'Fossils and Faith/ Creation Care'
Year 6
Manchester Cathedral
God and the Big bang Event for 90 pupils
31 January 
Lizzie  Henderson and Steph Bryant
'Fossils and Faith: Exploring the History of Life on Earth with Exploring'
Teacher Training Event with God and the Big Bang
Event for teachers within the Diocese of Manchester.

2 February 

Lizzie Henderson will be on the discussion panel for the new play from
Riding Lights Theatre Company 'Faith In The Questions' in Worcester. 

If you would like more information about these events or to arrange something in your school, church or youth group from our School Outreach Team, please get in touch 
Faraday "Out and About" - Where will we be? 

The Faraday Team are busy out presenting to a plethora of audiences and a range of places, here is a selection of where some of the team will be in the next month: 

Ruth Bancewicz
20 February: Speaking on' God in the Lab: When curiosity leads to wonder, awe, and the big questions of life’, at the Christians in Science meeting Surrey Heath.

Keith Fox
27 January: As part of the Eastern Region Ministerial Conference Keith will give three talks: ‘Science and Faith – how do they relate?’ 'Creation and Evolution’ and ‘Are we slaves to our Genes?’
1 February: UCCF Science Leadership network (Southampton) –speaking on Bioethics
3 February: Faraday CiS Southampton course, talking on 'Human genes and gene editing'.
24 February: Talking at The Faraday Institute Plymouth course on 'Can I blame my genes?'

Rodney Holder
8 February at 19:30: speaking on 'God or the Big Bang?' at Faringdon Corn Exchange, Faringdon, Oxon.

Hilary Marlow
 3 February: Talking at ‘Frontiers in Science and Society: Christian Perspectives’ at the Faraday Institute day course in Southampton on the subject “Theology of Creation Care”.
5-8 February:  Talking at a four-day biblical studies break on the subject 'Creation, Christian Faith and a Precious World', organised by Sarum College in Salisbury, an ecumenical centre for study and research.

9-10 February: Speaking at Science and Orthodoxy Conference, Athens, as part of the Templeton-funded project, Science and Orthodoxy around the World (SOW).
18 February: Preaching at Evensong, Emmanuel College, Cambridge on 'A Rough Guide to the Old Testament: Genesis'.
Faraday "Out & About " - What have we been up to? 
Ruth Bancewicz spoke on 28 Jan, at St Thomas’ Hall, St Martin’s church.
On 19 January Hilary Marlow delivered the opening lecture in a series on ‘Our Fragile Planet – a Christian Perspective’ organised by the Christians in Science local group in Bristol. She spoke  on “Creation Care and the Kingdom of God”. For more details of the series see

Denis Alexander spoke at a Workshop held at Trinity College, Cambridge, on the theme "Can Science and Technology Shape a New Humanity?” hosted by Trinity Fellow Jeremy Butterfield. 

Keith Fox started the year with an interview on BBC Radio Wiltshire – Science and Faith  followed by a sermon at All Saints Lydiard Millicent. Science and Faith: Great are the works of the Lord

On 22 January we were delighted to welcome a group of 40 students from Bethel University, Minnesota, an annual visit that remains to inspire and engage with  Denis Alexander & Keith Fox spoke ‘DNA and Belief' and 'The History of Science and Religion.' 

The following paper has been published: Rodney D. Holder (2017), ‘Thomas Torrance: Science, Theology, and the Contingent Universe’, Participatio: The Journal of the T. F. Torrance Theological Fellowship, vol. 7, 27-48.

The Faraday Papers (now numbering 20) have already appeared in book format in Spanish and will soon be appearing as books also in Swedish and English. To find out more about these papers go to our website at 
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