The Scientific & Spiritual Human: Faith for our Genetic Futures

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The Scientific & Spiritual Human is a one-day, in-person conference exploring the intersection of faith and science in shaping humanity’s future. Join us as our discussion is led by an impressive lineup of experts from various fields on how faith can speak into being humans of the future (gene editing, human enhancement, etc.), and humans of the earth (biodiversity, caring for the planet, etc.).


Saturday 22nd Jul 2023 @ 10:00 am – 
Saturday 22nd Jul 2023 @ 4:00 pm


Old Warden's Lodge, Trinity College Theological School, 100 Royal Parade, Parkville (Enter through Gate C)

The scientific and the spiritual are often seen as separate realms, but both are major driving forces of humanity and culture.

Is faith and religion still relevant to the current scientific conversation?

What does faith have to say about gene editing, artificial intelligence, and biodiversity?

Can faith and science find any common ground in these matters?

Gather with us to discuss some of the most important topics within genetics and society, with talks and panel discussions. The goal of the event is to facilitate an open dialogue on the intersection of faith and science in shaping our genetic futures.

The Scientific & Spiritual Human conference welcomes all who are interested, including students and laypeople. 


  • 22 July, 2023
  • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Old Warden’s Lodge, Trinity College Theological School, 100 Royal Parade, Parkville (Enter through Gate C)
  • Morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea provided


  • $75 for General
  • $65 for ISCAST Members
  • $40 for Student/Concession

We’re offering groups of 5+ a special 30% discount! Email with your group size to claim this offer.


Prof. Philip Batterham

Genetics Explained: Current Discoveries and Future Directions in Genetic Technology

Philip Batterham is an Emeritus Professor of Genetics at Melbourne University, and was the President of the International Genetics Foundation from 2013–2018. He is convening the 2023 International Congress of Genetics, of which The Scientific & Spiritual Human is a satellite public event. The Genetics Society of AustralAsia awarded Philip the 2015 MJD White Medal for a “lifetime contribution to genetics research.” Philip is an ISCAST fellow.

Dr Victoria Lorrimar

Co-Creators? Theological Perspectives on Human Enhancement and AI

Victoria Lorrimar is a research fellow at the University of Notre Dame in Perth. Her doctoral research in theology and science at the University of Oxford was supervised by Prof. Alister McGrath. It explored theologies of humans as co-creators as a response to the prospect of enhancing human nature through technology. Victoria is an ISCAST fellow.

Victoria’s most recent book is Human Technological Enhancement and Theological Anthropology, published by Cambridge University Press.

Dr Brian Edgar

Christian Responses to New Technologies in a Rapidly Changing World

Brian Edgar was Professor of Theological Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary, and previously spent 18 years as lecturer and then Academic Dean at Melbourne School of Theology. He also spent several years as a member of the Federal Government’s Gene Technology Ethics Committee. Brian has written extensively on various topics at the intersection of theology, ethics, and science. Brian is an ISCAST fellow.

Dr Kate Dooley

The State of Our Planet, According to Climate Science

Kate Dooley is an ARC DECRA Research Fellow in the School of Geography, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She has coordinated undergraduate and Master level subjects in climate change science, politics, and policy. She has been following the UN climate negotiations since 2009, focusing on the role of forests and land-use in climate mitigation, and how human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples are central to these efforts.

Prof. Michael Clarke

Flora, Fauna, and the Future: Understanding the Ecological Consequences of Climate Change

Michael Clarke is an Emeritus Professor of Zoology, at La Trobe University, where he was the Head of the School of Life Sciences. He is passionate about climate change and creation care, and is an expert witness in fire ecology at the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. He continues to conduct ecological research that informs public policy. Michael is an ISCAST fellow.

Prof. John Wiseman

Hope and Courage in the Climate Crisis: A Sociological Perspective

John Wiseman is a Senior Research Fellow with Melbourne Climate Futures and Adjunct Prof. at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne. He is also Chair of the Board of The Next Economy. His most recent publications include Hope and Courage in the Climate Crisis: Wisdom and Action in the Long Emergency (Palgrave, 2021) and Building Prosperous, Just and Resilient Zero Carbon Regions (Melbourne Climate Futures, 2022).

Dr Mick Pope

A Theological Journey through Climate Change: Rediscovering God’s Plan for Creation

Mick Pope has a PhD in Meteorology from Monash University and lectures in meteorology. He is Professor of Environmental Theology at Missional University, and an adjunct lecturer at Eastern College. He co-authored  A Climate of Hope: Church & Mission in a Warming World with Claire Harvey.



The day will be split into 2 parts with morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea (provided).

See the more detailed program here.


Humans of the Future

What it is to be human in a world where ideas of science-fiction seem to be within our grasp?

We will hear from speakers on both the scientific and theological perspectives. This will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.

  • Philip Batterham
  • Victoria Lorrimar
  • Brian Edgar
  • Chris Mulherin (Moderator)
12:30p.m. Lunch

Humans of the Earth

What is it to be a human living in an environment in dire need of care?

We will hear from speakers on both the scientific and theological perspectives. This will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.

  • Kate Dooley
  • Michael Clarke
  • John Wiseman
  • Mick Pope
  • Claire Harvey (Moderator)
4:00p.m. Finish



We are grateful to Trinity College Theological School and the University of Divinity for partnering with ISCAST to make this event possible.

Contact/Media Enquiries

For further information or media enquiries, please contact Jackie Liu at