16+ Science and Religion Conference
Start Date: 9th Mar 2017
End Date: 9th Mar 2017
Start Time: 10:30
End Time: 14:30

Location - St Margaret's Church

If Not Post-truth – Then What Truth? Unfolding the Road Map of Knowledge
in partnership with LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion)

Tired of facts and cynical about the value of evidence? This course will restore young people’s belief in the powers of scholarship, reason and inquiry as ways to get closer to truth.

Through questions that bridge school disciplines, students will learn about the power and the limitations of science in preparation for ethical questions arising from developments in Computer Science and Robotics in their working lifetimes.

Who should attend?

Whether they are studying the sciences, social sciences or humanities, this day will give Y12 and Y13 students a road map of what they’ve learnt, why they learnt it, why it felt so frantic at the time and where they go from here – all in a day.

Cost to attend

£7.00 per student / 1 teacher free of charge per 10

How to book

Contact Hannah via e-mail or telephone 020 7654 4965

E-mail to Book

More information for teachers

Further details on this event are available on the LASAR website.


10.30 - Welcome and Introduction

10.35 - Keynote Address by Dr Berry Billingsley
If Not Post-truth – Then What Truth? Unfolding the Road Map of Knowledge
Dr Billingsley demonstrates how compartmentalised our school subjects have become and questions how we can draw different disciplines together to create a coherent approach to knowledge.

11.00 - Interactive Workshops
Science is all you need – or is it? – when the Anthrobots are coming!
Students are given a mental workout through the sciences, economics, philosophy, religion, psychology and history in preparation for questions we’ve never before had to ask. Can a robot ever experience the world the way we do? Would, could, should a robot fall in love? Would a robot ever be a better judge of character than a person? Meet our robots and decide!

11.45-12.45 - Question Time
Big Questions about Life, the Universe and Everything
A panel of experts from the fields of Science and Religious Studies address the sorts of cross-curricular questions that fall between the gaps of time-tabled lessons.

12.45-13.30 - Lunch (not provided)

13.30-14.30 - Tour of Westminster Abbey
Some of the nation’s greatest scientists are buried and remembered at Westminster Abbey, highlighting how our understanding of ourselves and the universe has been shaped by different truth narratives post – Enlightenment. Students will explore the Abbey where Newton, Lyell and Darwin rest and consider some of the challenges their theories presented and the resolution the Abbey offers to these tensions.


Keynote Speaker

Dr Berry Billingsley, Professor at Canterbury Christ Church University and Reading University

Professor Billingsley began her career as a science journalist. This ignited a passion for sleuthing and finding connections between ideas that at first sight may seem unrelated. In her current role as a Professor of Science Education at Canterbury Christ Church University, she works with a multidisciplinary team on a quest to understand how people address the big questions of life, the universe and everything.

Question Time Panellists

Lizzie Henderson, The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, St Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge

Lizzie Henderson is the Youth and Schools Outreach Officer and Children’s Media Project Coordinator at The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, Cambridge. She holds a degree from Cambridge University specialising in Evolutionary and Behavioural Biology, Geology and the History and Philosophy of Science. Lizzie is passionate about the communication and public understanding of the interactions of science and faith and regularly participates in formal and informal discussion of the science and faith dialogue. She has worked with children and young people for many years and regularly provides lessons, workshops and talks on science and faith for children, young people and students.

Revd Jennifer Brown, MA, Diocese of Oxford and Ian Ramsey Centre, University of Oxford

The Revd Brown is a priest in the Church of England and has held both parish and chaplaincy posts. She is currently Science Missioner in the Churn Benefice group of churches in south Oxfordshire. As Science Missioner, she is tasked with opening conversations between the church community and the science and technology community. Part of this work includes educating congregations, local communities and schools to recognise science as an area of life that is not alien to a Christian worldview, but is one with which the Church should engage. In addition to her work as Science Missioner, Jennifer is also Tutor for the Cuddesdon School of Theology & Ministry at Ripon College Cuddesdon, an Anglican theological college near Oxford.

Dr Matt Pritchard, Science Magic Shows

Dr Pritchard is a magician, comedian and creative communicator. His amazing performances both inspire and inform. Matt loves being creative and is passionate about simplifying the complex. As an independent science communicator he performs to over 50,000 people a year and works with organisations like The Royal Institution, British Science Association, The Big Bang fairs, Cheltenham Festivals and Edinburgh International Science Festival. Previously Matt conducted atomic physics research at Durham University, where he won the Institute of Physics’ Postgraduate lecturer award. He subsequently went on to work within the Education department at Thinktank Science Museum, Birmingham. In addition to this experience, he has spent the last 17 years working as a professional magician and is an Associate of the Inner Magic Circle – one of only 300 people in the world to hold this distinction. He is also a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association.

Revd Mark Laynesmith, University of Reading Anglican Chaplain

The Revd Laynesmith has been ordained since 2002, having trained in Oxford at Ripon College Cuddesdon. Previously he studied medieval history, taking a BA and an MA at York. He is passionately interested in the ways that art, literature, film and social justice intermingle with theology, and for fun brews his own beer and makes his own bread. He is married to a freelance medieval historian and has two sons. Mark is a regular attendee of the Greenbelt Festival and a visitor to the Iona Community.

Tristan Stone, Harris Westminster Sixth Form

Tristan Stone began training as a pianist and violinist at the Royal College of Music, where he was a Junior Exhibitioner for seven years, before going up to Cambridge University, where he read Theology. During his undergraduate degree, he began to develop an Imaginal Theology, which will be the focus of his forthcoming doctoral research on philosophical/theological method. Over the past decade, Tristan has written and produced several plays, published Study Guides for topics in Philosophy of Religion and is currently writing the second instalment in his YA Science Fiction series, Time's Fickle Glass. Tristan's passion for engaging with young adults stems from his experience as a secondary school teacher, having taught English, Music and RS in schools and colleges around Kent since graduating University. He is delighted to be currently teaching Philosophy, Theology and Ethics at Harris Westminster Sixth Form.

Dr Bethany Sollereder, University of Oxford

Dr Sollereder is Research Coordinator in the Department of Materials at the University of Oxford and an Associate Member of the Faculty of Theology and Religion. She gained a Ph.D. in Theology in 2014 from the University of Exeter for research on animal suffering and theodicy and is already a key voice promoting the public understanding of evolution in theological context, with contributions including, for instance, two articles in The Christian Century. As a BioLogos Theology Fellow she is currently writing a series of blog posts that have included reflections on creative worms and astronaut beavers.

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