ISCAST-CASE* (Sydney) Lecture 3
Audio mp3 files of Professor Tom McLeish’s lecture and the Q & A session following it, and pdf copies of their PowerPoint slides at either 1 slide per page (1pp) or 2 slides per page (2pp), and a pdf copy of a transcript closely related to his lecture are available for downloading now. (N.B., to save mp3 files to your computer, use right-click and choose ‘Save link as…’).
Professor Tom McLeish, PhD, FRS, gave an ISCAST-CASE* Lecture at New College, UNSW, entitled: “Faith in Science? On the relationship between faith, wisdom and science”, at 7.30 pm on Thursday 17th September, 2015.
Abstract: Tom McLeish will discuss themes from his recently published book Faith and Wisdom in Science (Oxford University Press, 2014). In this book, Tom takes a scientist’s reading of the Old Testament’s Book of Job and uses this ancient text as a centrepiece to make the case for science as a deeply human and ancient activity, embedded in some of the oldest stories told about the human desire to understand the natural world. Drawing on stories from the modern science of chaos and uncertainty, alongside medieval, patristic, classical and Biblical sources, Faith and Wisdom in Science challenges much of the current “science and religion” debate as operating with the wrong assumptions and in the wrong space.
Biosketch: Tom McLeish is Professor of Physics at Durham University in the UK. Tom did a first degree in physics and PhD (1987) in polymer physics at Cambridge University. A lectureship at Sheffield University in complex fluid physics was followed by 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 the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (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.
Throughout his career, Tom McLeish has also maintained an interest in public engagement with science, science policy and public values including the underlying, but often hidden, public narratives of science. He has been especially interested in the potential for theological narratives to inform debates in science and technology, both explicitly and implicitly. He explores historical, sociological and theological approaches to contribute to a long cultural narrative for science in his recent book Faith and Wisdom in Science, published in 2014 by Oxford University Press (OUP).
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.