Jump to content

Faraday Institute for Science and Religion

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Faraday Institute
for Science and Religion
Executive DirectorGraham Budd
FacultySarah Perrett (Associate Director);
Denis Alexander
(Emeritus Director) Robert (Bob) White
AddressThe Woolf Building, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0UB, UK

The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion is an interdisciplinary academic research institute based in Cambridge, England. It is named after the 19th-century English scientist Michael Faraday, the pioneer of electromagnetic induction.

It was established in 2006 by a $2,000,000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation to carry out academic research, to foster understanding of the interaction between science and religion, and to engage public understanding in both these subject areas.[1] The institute also leads debate on wider issues such as sustainability and education.

Senior staff[edit]

The institute's Executive Director is Graham Budd, and its Associate Director is Sarah Perrett. The emeritus directors are Denis Alexander[2] and Robert (Bob) White.[3]


The institute organises a wide range of activities, including:[4]

  1. Free, regular lectures and seminars on a range of science and religion topics.
  2. Providing access to resources such as downloadable audio and video recordings of over 350 Faraday Institute courses, lectures and seminars. The website also includes a wide range of written material, and an online shop featuring heavily discounted books.
  3. Short, intensive weekend, and midweek courses. These are open to graduates or undergraduates from any university in the world, of any faith or none. Discounts and bursaries are available to students and those from low-income countries. Some courses give an overview of the science-religion debate, while others focus on a specific topic.
  4. Residential and day conferences which focus on a particular aspect of the interaction between science and religion.
  5. Informing and improving the media's understanding of the interaction between science and religion.

Activities of the Faraday Institute have included:

  • Hosting a workshop on "The Social, Political, and Religious Transformations of Biology" in September 2007.[5] A book arising from the conference, "Biology and Ideology – From Descartes to Dawkins" (eds D.R. Alexander and R.L. Numbers) was published in 2010 by University of Chicago Press.
  • A project on evolution, faith, and Charles Darwin, in collaboration with the think tank Theos.[6]
  • The "Test of Faith" documentary, course, and books.[7][8]
  • Commissioning the play Let Newton Be, which was reviewed in Science[9] and Nature.[10]
  • Organisation of The Georges Lemaître Anniversary Conference, April 2011 at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.[11]
  • Organisation of the ‘Sustainability in Crisis’ Conference, Sept 26–28, 2011, held at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge.[12]

In his former capacity as director and now as emeritus director of the institute, Denis Alexander has commented on science and religion in UK national media[13][14][15][16] and international media.[17][18][19]

The institute has published 20 Faraday Papers discussing various science and faith issues, which are available online in 12 different languages.[20] Its website hosts recordings of more than 350 lectures.[21] Most of these lectures can also be found on the University of Cambridge Video & Audio Archive. Its work, along with that of other similar organizations, has led to a "complete reassessment of historical literature on the relationship between science and religion."[22]


  1. ^ Grant profile Archived 2012-01-11 at the Wayback Machine, John Templeton Foundation
  2. ^ ""Faraday Staff", accessed 4 Dec 2020". www.faraday.cam.ac.uk. 2001-08-24. Archived from the original on October 1, 2020. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
  3. ^ ""Faraday Staff", accessed 4 Dec 2020". www.faraday.cam.ac.uk. 2001-08-24. Archived from the original on 2010-12-18. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
  4. ^ About us Archived 2009-12-13 at the Wayback Machine, Faraday Institute
  5. ^ Schloss, Jeffrey, and Murray, Michael, The Believing Primate: Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Reflections on the Origin of Religion, p. ix, Oxford University Press US (2009), ISBN 0-19-955702-0, ISBN 978-0-19-955702-8, accessed 17 November 2009
  6. ^ God, Evolution and Charles Darwin, Nick Spencer (director of studies at Theos), The Times 17-Sept-2008
  7. ^ New Books, Papers & Other Resources Archived 2010-02-23 at the Wayback Machine Science and Religion News, International Society for Science and Religion
  8. ^ About – People, Test of Faith website, Faraday Institute
  9. ^ "Newton in Three Dimensions", Science, 326, p. 937, 13 November 2009, accessed 18 November 2009
  10. ^ Ball, Philip (2011). "Theatre: Newton's rainbow". Nature. 472 (7342): 168. Bibcode:2011Natur.472..168B. doi:10.1038/472168a.
  11. ^ "Let there be a Big Bang," The Tablet, 16 April 2011, accessed 23 August 2012]
  12. ^ "Cambridge conference considers 'sustainability in crisis'," Ekklesia, 30 September 2011, accessed 23 August 2012
  13. ^ Alexander, Denis (2009-07-16). "Science and religion: Squabbling but loving cousins". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2009-07-19.
  14. ^ Vallely, Paul (2008-10-11). "Religion vs science: can the divide between God and rationality be". The Independent. Retrieved 2019-07-30.
  15. ^ Alexander, Denis (25 August 2001). "Science in search of God". The Guardian.
  16. ^ The divine is in the detail Times Higher Education 26-June-2008
  17. ^ Academics to debate God and Science Irish Examiner 21-Apr-2007
  18. ^ Can Christianity Warm Up to Darwin? Fox News 27-Oct-2009
  19. ^ Darwin and the Church Public Radio International 12-Feb-2009
  20. ^ "Faraday Papers site". St-edmunds.cam.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
  21. ^ McGrath, Alister E. (2009-12-07). Science and Religion: A New Introduction. John Wiley and Sons. p. 234. ISBN 9781405187909.
  22. ^ The Edge of Reason?: Science and Religion in Modern Society. Continuum. 2008-11-22. p. 17. ISBN 9781847062185.

External links[edit]