Tom McLeish (Durham University)
This event is open to students, faculty, and scientists at the University of Chicago. Lunch will be served. Others interested in attending, please firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this luncheon events, student will discuss a chapter from Faith & Wisdom in Science (Oxford University Press, 2014) on “A Theology of Science?” with author Tom McLeish. A PDF of the chapter will be made available to read beforehand and attendees will be given complimentary copies of the book.
In the book, McLeish’s narrative approach develops a natural critique of the cultural separation of sciences and humanities, suggesting an approach to science, or in its more ancient form natural philosophy – the ‘love of wisdom of natural things’ – that can draw on theological and cultural roots. Following the theme of pain in human confrontation with nature, it develops a ‘Theology of Science’, recognising that both scientific and theological worldviews must be ‘of’ each other, not holding separate domains. Science finds its place within an old story of participative reconciliation with a nature, of which we start ignorant and fearful, but learn to perceive and work with in wisdom. Surprisingly, science becomes a deeply religious activity. There are urgent lessons for education, the political process of decision-making on science and technology, our relationship with the global environment, and the way that both religious and secular communities alike celebrate and govern science.
Tom McLeish is Professor of Physics and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at Durham University. He holds a PhD in polymer physics at the University of Cambridge and has won several awards for his work on molecular rheology of polymers, including the Weissenberg Award of the European Society of Rheology (2007), the Gold Medal of the British Society of Rheology (2009) and the Bingham Award of the Society of Rheology (2010). He is also involved in science-communication with the public via regular radio, TV and schools lectures, discussing issues from the Physics of Slime to the interaction of Faith and Science. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Physical Society and the Royal Society.