22nd SOFN (UK) Annual Conference

Tuesday 21 July – Thursday 23 July 2009

            University of Leicester

The Sea of Faith's insistence that religion is a human creation enables us to value religion and science as insights for which humanity is totally responsible, both for their content and for the use we make of them; a message which our world clearly needs.


Michael Reiss: Assistant Director and Professor of Science Education at the Institute of Education, University of London; Chief Executive of Science Learning Centre London; Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of York; Docent at the University of Helsinki; Director of the Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology Project; a member of the Farm Animal Welfare Council; a Priest in the Church of England and editor of the Journal of Sex Education. For further information see http://www.reiss.tc.

In his talk 'Creationism as a Worldview: Implications for Education', Michael Reiss argued that when teaching evolution, teachers should allow students to raise any doubts they have, even though creationism and intelligent design are not scientific theories.

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell FRS: A visiting professor in astrophysics at the University of Oxford, she has just become the first female President of the Institute of Physics. She has also recently co-edited an anthology of poetry about space and astronomy. These two events have stimulated a flurry of media interest and curiosity. She is a lifelong Quaker, champions women in science and struggles to keep up with the weeds in her garden.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell's talk was entitled 'By What Authority?' in which she questioned authority in religion and science.

Tom Shakespeare: Research Fellow at Newcastle University,is a social scientist and disability advocate, currently working as a consultant to the World Health Organization. He has written and broadcast widely on issues of disability, science and ethics, and his books include Genetics Politics: from eugenics to genome and Disability Rights and Wrongs. He is a member of the Religious Society of Friends.

Tom Shakespeare raised some questions about disability and bioethics in his talk 'Challenges, Questions, Answers: Thinking about Disability and Genetics'

...and reflections by Don Cupitt

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