The Continuing Dance Between Science and Theology

Talk by Professor Tom McLeish FRS (Durham University)
Thursday 9 March 2017
Exeter Cathedral

Please watch the video of the talk, and read on for more information about the event and how to continue the conversation.

The opening event of our Lent course took place in the Cathedral and was a talk from distinguished physicist, Professor Tom McLeish, under the title “The Continuing Dance of Science and Theology”. The talk emphasised the mutual complementarity of science and religion and countered the widespread view that these two aspects of our search for truth have nothing to say to each other. The theme was developed as the speaker lead us into an exploration of Faith and Wisdom in Science and of a Theology of Science.

Professor McLeish is a well-known, clear and engaging public speaker on national and international stages; he is very much involved in developing interactions between theology and science. The evening was chaired by the Bishop of Exeter, Rt Rev Robert Atwell.

Note: this event and the next were timed to be associated with British Science Week, 10-19 March 2017.

Continue the conversation

Now that you have come to the event, or watched the video, we would love you to have your own conversations online.

On Common Ground is on Twitter at @ocgconversation. For this event, please use the hashtags #ocgdance and #OnCommonGround.

On Common Ground is on Facebook. Please add your comments to the discussion on the event page.

There is a discussion of the video on Youtube.

You can find more books and other materials on our Resources page.

Who’s who?

Tom McLeishTom McLeish is Professor of Physics at Durham University and also chairs the Royal Society’s education committee. After a first degree in physics and PhD (1987) in polymer physics at Cambridge University, a lectureship at Sheffield University, in complex fluid physics, lead to a chair at Leeds University from 1993. 

He has since won several awards both in Europe (Weissenberg Medal) and the USA (Bingham Medal) for his work on molecular rheology of polymers, and ran a large collaborative and multidisciplinary research programme in this field from 1999-2009 co-funded by EPSRC and industry. 

His research interests include: (i) molecular rheology of polymeric fluids); (ii) macromolecular biological physics; (iii) issues of theology, ethics and history of science. He has published over 180 scientific papers and reviews, and is in addition regularly involved in science-communication with the public, including lectures and workshops on science and faith. In 2014 OUP published his book "Faith and Wisdom in Science", and this January Lion Hudson published "Let There be Science", co-authored with David Hutchings. He has been a Reader in the Anglican Church since 1993, in the dioceses of Ripon and York.

From 2008-2014 he served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at Durham University. In 2011 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 2012 he was made Vice-President of Science by the Institute of Physics.

On Common Ground

Tom spoke on "The Continuing Dance Between Science and Theology" on 9 March. Here he is the following morning in a short conversation with Prof John Bryant.

Continue the conversation

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