Five Church Scientific café evenings are taking place from January to May 2017. At each event two or three researchers in the sciences present an overview of their work and outline some ways in which their faith relates to it. The audience discusses each talk in small groups over coffee before feeding back ideas and questions for the speaker.
January Café: scientific work and Christian faith in harmony
At our first café evening, talks by two African PhD students and an English professor provided an overview of how some scientific areas are naturally easier to relate to Christian faith than others.
- Willice Obonyo talked about astrophysics and his research on the life cycle of stars
- Chibi Takaya shared her thoughts on waste disposal, in the light of her recently-completed PhD on uses of activated charcoal.
- Prof. Stuart Egginton then reflected on his career in human physiology and the science of exercise, and asked why biologists sometimes seemed more hostile to Christian faith than did physicists.
February café: the undercurrent of a Christian worldview
The February event comprised two parts.
- Tom Ingleby spoke about his PhD research in earthquake dynamics.
- Then Prof. Andrew Basden shared the story of his career in information systems, showing how the framework provided by a Christian philosopher had enriched his thinking about the place of computers in society. His two-part talk suggested some new ways to relate Christian worldview to academic and other kinds of work – including evangelism.
March café: science in social context
Three very different talks provided stimulating material for discussion.
- Craig Luckwell described his work as a senior formulation chemist at Unilever in the area of deodorant technology.
- Clare O’Reilly took us on a historical expedition to uncover Victorian attitudes to plant hybridisation
- Chris Schorah looked back on his career as a clinical scientist and on to his current apologetics initiatives.
This event brings together an engineer, a zoologist and a historian of science.
- Heather McLaren talks about her PhD work in tribology
- Emily Messer introduces her postdoctoral research applying insights from primatology to humans
- Paul Coleman shows how the history of a grand engineering project – the National Grid – might be studied from a range of perspectives.
Watch this space for an overview of the May café!