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Faraday Institute Newsletter No. 19 - August 2007

The month of July has been dominated by the 2-week Faraday Summer Course, just completed, which saw 27 speakers from 5 different countries speaking to a diverse group of delegates from many different countries, ranging from undergraduates to university professors. The Course covered a broad range of topics ranging from cosmology to bioethics, and evolution to the neurosciences. Many of the leading figures in the science-religion field lectured during the Course and participated in the Panel Discussions held each evening when delegates presented written questions to the Panel. One evening panel comprised Prof. John Polkinghorne FRS, Prof. Ernan McMullin, Prof. John Hedley Brooke and Prof. Peter Harrison – those who are familiar with the science-religion field will realise that this was a particularly distinguished group to have together for an evening! We were also pleased to welcome several new speakers to the Course, including Prof. Ken Miller from Brown University in the USA (author of the best-selling book ‘Darwin’s God’, now in its 25th printing) and Dr Paul Shellard from Cambridge University who spoke on the subject of cosmology and anthropic fine-tuning. Since 1997 Dr Shellard has been Director of COSMOS, the UK national cosmology supercomputer.

The next Faraday Course will now be the ‘God and Biology’ Course to be held 14-16 September. Normally we try to restrict numbers on our Courses to 30 delegates to encourage optimal interactions between delegates and speakers. However, this Course has proven to be so popular that we have simply abandoned this policy on this occasion and so the registered delegate numbers are currently around 60 and still rising. However, for logistical reasons we cannot let numbers rise much further, so if you wish to register please do so soon. The Course is only open to those with a strong background in biology. The Speakers at the Course are: Michael Ruse, Francis Collins, Simon Conway Morris, Ronald Numbers, Jeff Schloss and Ernest Lucas.

Short Course No 8 (‘Science and Religion for Church Leaders’, Nov 6-8, 2007) is also now filling up quite fast, and it is worth emphasising that this Course is also open to lay workers, ordinands and others training for leadership.

We have continued a busy round of talks to outside groups. Rodney Holder spoke on 'Science and Religion' at a men's breakfast at St Luke's Church, Bath on Saturday 7 July and both he and the Director, Denis Alexander, were members of a panel for the Milton Keynes Science Festival entitled 'Science and Religion - Compatible or Contradictory?' on 11 July. The Associate Director Bob White gave 3 talks previewing his new book on ‘Christianity, Climate Change and Sustainable Living’ to be published later in August – of which more in the next newsletter, though early birds may wish to take advantage of a special reduced price for pre-publication orders available immediately from the Faraday website at .
Best wishes

Denis Alexander     Bob White
 [Director, Faraday Institute]   [Associate Director]