Christians in Science

The Committee


The activities of CiS are overseen by the CiS committee, which is drawn from the membership and meets three or more times during the year.

Chair: Prof Andrew Halestrap

Andrew Halestrap is a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Bristol and is current Chairman of The Bristol Heart Institute. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was awarded Keilin Memorial Lecture of the Biochemical society in 2010. His current research focuses on how lactic acid crosses cell membranes and the role of mitochondria in the healthy and diseased heart (see He is on the Editorial Board of two major research journals and the council of the British Heart Foundation.

General Secretary: Dr Diana Briggs

Diana is based in Oxford and in addition to her role as CiS General Secretary also coordinates the Oxford Local Group. She studied Biochemistry at Otago University (New Zealand) and obtained a DPhil in Protein Chemistry from Oxford. Following post-docs in Molecular and Cell Biology in both London and Oxford, she was a scientific advisor for a small biotech company for a number of years.

The email address for the General Secretary –

Development Officer: Emily Sturgess

Emily studied Biological Sciences at Jesus College, Oxford, and then went on to obtain an MSc in Species Identification and Survey Skills from the University of Reading, as training in environmental consultancy. She is particularly interested in biodiversity, conservational ethics, animal behaviour and making spreadsheets. In her spare hours not being a Development Officer, she blogs, eats cake, and occasionally plays in a ceilidh band.

Emily is based in Oxford, and can be contacted at

Executive Officer: Mrs Mary Browett

Mary has worked in a diverse number of industries from IT, Construction, Retail, NHS etc but has always had an interest in the Sciences. From looking through microscopes to star gazing, biology, geology, chemistry, and the list goes on. Mary lives in Exeter with her husband Warren.

Mary can be contacted at

Education Secretary: Dr John Ling

Dr John Ling has taught in different capacities at a variety of state and independent schools. John’s PhD is in Materials Engineering, John has also worked for British Steel and Corus Group Plc and was an industrial scientist and Secretary to the UK STIR innovation group. John has more recently been an Education Advisor to The Wonder Project ( and The Long Shop Museum, Suffolk In 2006 John organised a National Education Conference exploring Christian attitudes to education followed, in 2008, by a Royal Society supported Sixth Form conference entitled “God and The Big Bang”.

Interview:  pdf version (432kb)

Journal Editor: Prof Keith Fox

Keith Fox is Professor of Biochemistry at Southampton University, where he leads research on the sequence specific recognition of DNA by small molecules, oligonucleotides and proteins, and is Senior Executive Editor of the journal Nucleic Acids Research. He is also Associate Director of The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion in Cambridge. He is a former chairman and trustee of Christians in Science and is a lay reader at Highfield Church, Southampton.

Interview:  pdf version  (236 kb)

Centre for Biological Sciences, Life Science Building 85, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ

Journal Reviews Editor: Rev Dr Rodney Holder

Rodney Holder worked as an astrophysicist and operational research consultant before becoming ordained as a minister in the Church of England, and is former Course Director of The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, where he remains a Bye Fellow.

Membership Secretary: Mrs Fran Armitage

Fran studied biochemistry in Oxford in the 1960s, and did some post-graduate work at UBC in Vancouver.  On returning to England, she was a full-time Mum for some years, and then became involved with the administration of various international Christian organisations and conferences.   She took over as CiS membership secretary in time for the 2012 renewal process.  She lives in Coventry with her husband Godfrey, who is also a member of CiS.

The email address for the Membership Secretary –

Treasurer: Dr Stephen Walley

Stephen Walley graduated PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1983. He then worked as a Research Associate at the Cavendish Laboratory. Although retiring in 2014, he is still professionally active in the SMF Fracture and Shock Physics at the Cavendish. Over the years, he has been involved in a number of projects including ballistic impact on glass/polymer laminates, ignition mechanisms of propellants, and high strain rate mechanical properties of polymers, metals and energetic materials. He is secretary of the DYMAT Association (and on its Governing Board).

The email address for the Treasurer is –

International Secretary: Dr Bob Sluka

“I grew up loving the ocean – despite spending my first 18 years of life in Detroit. Starting diving at age 13 and degrees in marine biology from University of Miami convinced me that a life lived studying the ocean was for me. I grew up in a Christian home and continue to follow that faith. However, it has only been recently that I have discovered how my faith relates to my love of the ocean. I am working towards a life that integrates my beliefs and love of the ocean in a way that brings blessing to people, nations, and the planet. I am Lead Scientist of A Rocha International’s Marine and Coastal Conservation Programme and  am an associate of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion.”

Interview:  pdf version (433kb)

Postgraduate Student Secretary: Anna Pearson

Anna completed her MSci Physics degree at Royal Holloway, University of London and is now studying for a DPhil in the Materials department at Oxford. Her project entails trying to find out if large* things (which should behave normally) can behave like quantum particles (which don’t!).

Whilst at Royal Holloway, along with a few friends Anna set up a student CiS group, and in her final year (which had lectures across the London universities) set up a group in central London. She has recently started to get some science-faith communication practice with the God and the Big Bang and LASAR projects , .

*a carbon nanotube, which is large when compared to an electron

Undergraduate Student Secretary: Naomi Brehm

Naomi is currently studying Physics at Durham University, where she co-leads the University College Christian Union. She enjoys engaging others in discussions of science & faith, whether debating with university friends, teaching workshops in secondary schools with ‘God and the Big Bang’, or weaving Physics lessons into the occasional sermon.

Committee members:

Dr Rhoda Hawkins

Dr Rhoda Hawkins is a Lecturer in Physics at the University of Sheffield. Prior to this she worked as a postdoc in Amsterdam, Paris and Bristol. She did her PhD at the University of Leeds and her undergraduate studies at the University of Oxford. She has been a member of Christians in Science since her student days and served on the committee as a PhD student rep. More recently she has enjoyed using the Test of Faith materials in a variety of contexts and speaking in secondary schools about science and religion.

Dr Nicholas Higgs

Nick is Deputy Director of the Marine Institute at Plymouth University, where he previously worked as Postdoctoral Research Fellow in marine ecology. Prior to this, he was based at the University of Leeds and the Natural History Museum for his doctoral work. His research is generally concerned with the recycling of organic matter in ocean ecosystems, the processes generating life from death. This has primarily been in the context of deep-sea habitats but also includes tropical seagrass beds and lobster fisheries. Nick has been a member of CiS since his undergraduate studies in Southampton, where he was a part of the Central South local group. You can find out more at or follow him on Twitter @BahaNick