Guest podcast: Meet the speaker – Ruth Bancewicz

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Today’s guest post is the first of a new series of podcasts from The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion called Meet the Speaker. In this recording (transcript below) Eleanor Puttock interviews Ruth Bancewicz, asking about the cultural influences that have affected her career in science and religion. Continue reading

Guest Post: Falling in Love with Bryology

Frost-covered Moss © Cristian Bortes, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license
Frost-covered Moss © Cristian Bortes, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license

When I started my Masters course in Species Identification and Survey Skills, I wasn’t the only one in my class to think the ‘Vegetation Survey and Assessment’ module probably wouldn’t be my favourite. I’ve always had an appreciation of plants, and enjoyed my undergraduate second year plants module well enough; but when we’d also be identifying pretty birds and fluffy mammals, how could the plants hold a candle to them? Continue reading

Guest Podcast: Science and Faith in Dialogue

AlisterMcGrath-page-001

As well as being the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University, the theologian and biophysicist Alister McGrath is now also the Gresham Professor of Divinity, a role that will involve him giving a series of lunch time lectures on science and religion in 2015-16. Eleanor Puttock, The Faraday Institute’s External Communications Officer, visited Alister in Oxford a few weeks ago and asked him a few questions about his work, faith, and the dialogue between science and faith (transcript below). Continue reading

In the Eye of the Barracuda: Beauty in the Ocean

© free images – enbrut Dani
© free images – enbrut Dani

The oceans are the least explored place in the world. They are a source of great beauty and value to ourselves as a source of food, water and so many other ‘ecosystem services’, as well as having their own intrinsic value.  Marine conservationist Bob Sluka has featured on this blog a number of times, and in this month’s podcast he shares his appreciation of the beauty of the oceans, and how that relates to his faith. Continue reading

The God of Small Things

Nanostar, scienceimage.csiro.au, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license
Nanostar, scienceimage.csiro.au, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Physicists working at the atomic or molecular scale are revolutionising industry with their ultra-small chips and mini-machines, but in a sense nanotechnology is nothing new. Nature got there first, and we are only just beginning to catch up Continue reading

Guest Post: Wonders of the Cell

Leaf cross-section © K Szkurlatowski, freeimages.com
Leaf cross-section © K Szkurlatowski, freeimages.com

Most scientists get excited when talking about science in general.  But they get really animated when talking about their own area of research. I spent my PhD years studying microtubules, which are microscopic filaments inside living cells, and even now I get a little misty-eyed when thinking about them.  To some people, microtubules might not be beautiful – in some images they look rather like a writhing hairball or bowl of spaghetti – but Continue reading

Chance or Necessity in the Origin of Life?

Stephen Freeland
Stephen Freeland

Was the living world destined to look the way we find it? Or to ask a question that’s closer to home, were our bodies meant to be the way they are? These are the sorts of questions that astrobiologist Stephen Freeland asks as part of his research into the genetic code. Continue reading