Route to Reality

229I have blogged a number of times on imagination, but what do working scientists think about this subject? Dr Jennifer Siggers is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London, where she works on medical applications of fluid dynamics. Having met her at a Christians in Science conference a couple of years before, I wanted to find out how imagination is relevant to her own life in the lab.

Imagination is highly valued in Western culture but not always recognised as an essential part of science. So Jennifer initially protested that she wasn’t sure she had anything to say about imagination, but eventually was able to speak with me at some length about how important it is in her work. Mental pictures, analogies and thought experiments are all important for a scientist. For a Christian, learning to use imagination can also enhance Continue reading

Surprised by Science: Harvey McMahon on God in the Lab

Today’s post is the second in a bi-weekly series of podcasts that began with an interview with John Polkinghorne. This week I interview Harvey McMahon, a lab head at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge about life in the lab for a Christian.

Ruth Hogg: Reconciling Science and Faith

© Bill Davenport
© Bill Davenport

What happens when two aspects of a person’s life seem miles apart? In this series of extracts from God in the Lab, Dr Ruth Hogg tells how she learned to reconcile her beliefs about God and her scientific work.

Ruth has always been interested in exploring the connection between science and faith. In Cambridge she was a founding member of the local Veritas Forum, running events to help students and faculty members to discuss – as the Veritas Forum website says – “life’s hardest questions and the modern relevance of Jesus Christ”.

While scientific evidence is important for some, many scientists actually find God outside of the lab: at home, at university, or later in life. Ruth is one of those who discovered God early on, though it was only as an adult that she realised Continue reading

The Human Side of Science

How can a scientist who is also a person of faith communicate their experiences of working in a lab? In this video five scientists express how science has helped their faith to grow.

In a further series of videos, I explain my motivations behind writing God in the lab, and describe my favourite parts Continue reading

The Motivations of Scientists: Harvey McMahon

Start them young! © Horton Web Design, HortonGroup.com
Start them young! © Horton Web Design, HortonGroup.com

People are attracted to science for a variety of reasons. These might include fascination, the satisfaction of meeting a challenge or the privilege of discovery, as well as more mundane factors such as the opportunity to work with your hands or have a very varied schedule. Inspiring and supportive family or teachers also play a large part in developing our curiosity about the natural world.

Harvey McMahon, a neurobiologist at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, is interested in how things work. Of course he wants to understand disease processes, but when I interviewed him he explained that “when you operate at the level of molecules you need to focus on smaller details most of the time”. There is also pride in good craftsmanship. At a day-to-day level, biology is often Continue reading

Beauty and Wonder in Science: John Polkinghorne on God in the Lab

Today’s post is a podcast from the Faraday Institute book club. I went to speak to the physicist-turned priest John Polkinghorne last summer, soon after the manuscript for God in the Lab had been completed. I quizzed him on his own experiences of creativity, imagination, beauty, wonder and awe in science, and how they affected his faith.

God in the Lab: New book by Ruth Bancewicz

God in the Lab final cover copy 2What is it like to be a person of faith and a scientist? In a video interview[1] the theologian and former biophysicist Alister McGrath commented that we need Christian scientists who are “prepared to enter into the public arena in debate, in comment, and in the writing of books showing how faith enriches their science.”

This blog has been one such attempt to show the positive effect of science on faith, and judging by the comments over the years, it has encouraged a number of people in that direction. On the 15th of this month, Monarch will publish my book God in the Lab: How Science Enhances Faith, which Continue reading