Christians in Science

2017 Southern Conference Speaker Bios

2017 Southern Conference Speaker Bios

Andrew Briggs – Introduction to The Penultimate Curiosity
Andrew is the first Professor of Nanomaterials at Oxford University, a post he has held since 2002. From 2002 – 2009 he held an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Professorial Research Fellowship, and was Director of the Quantum Information Processing Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration, with a brief to build and coordinate a multidisciplinary team of researchers to address key challenges in Quality Improvement Plan (QIP). He has led several interdisciplinary projects, with major industrial sponsorship from companies such as BNFL, Toppan, Hitachi, and Hewlett-Packard. Since 2010 he has also been responsible for the preparation and evaluation of grant proposals for Templeton World Charity Foundation, which serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. He has initiated a large number of research projects and related activities around the world, in topics such as spiritual discovery through science, science as a component of theology, the power of information, freedom and free enterprise, and character development. His own scientific curiosity focuses on materials and techniques for quantum superposition and entanglement.

The Penultimate Curiosity – How Science Swims in the Slipstream of Ultimate Questions. Roger Wagner and Andrew Briggs, Oxford University Press (2016)

Pablo de Felipe – Curiosity in the Early Christian Era – Philoponus’ Defence of Ancient Astronomy against Christian Critics
Pablo de Felipe obtained a PhD in Chemical Sciences (Molecular Biology) at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) in 2000 and was a Research Fellow at St Andrews, Scotland, 2001-8) before joining the Spanish Medicines Agency in Madrid in 2008. Since April 2016 he has been lecturer in science and faith at the SEUT School of Theology, an Evangelical institution in Madrid ( where he also coordinates the Centro de Ciencia y Fe (Centre for Science & Faith,, belonging to the Fundación Federico Fliedner (Federico Fliedner Foundation,, Spain). The Faraday Institute is supporting his studies for a PhD in the Department of Classics of the Reading University, researching the reception of the cosmological ideas of some early Christian authors in the Renaissance and Modern era.

Pablo has been involved in the revision of the Spanish translation of The Penultimate Curiosity (La curiosidad penúltima, Sal Terrae, Universidad Pontificia Comillas & Fundación Federico Fliedner, 2017) and has co-authored its Spanish presentation.

He is interested in the connections between Science and Christianity from a historical perspective, in particular the history of cosmological ideas: cosmological debates in ancient and medieval Christianity and during the early modern geographical exploration. In addition, he is also interested in early Christian apologetic strategies and the Christian receptions of evolution in the 19th-20th centuries. As a former scientific researcher, he maintains an interest in the field of gene therapy and the biology and evolution of mobile elements.

Papers recently published
By Pablo de Felipe and Malcolm Jeeves
Science and Christianity Conflicts: real and contrived
PSCF 69: 131-147

Pete JordanAttitudes toward Curiosity in the Early Modern Era
Pete Jordan is a research coordinator at the University of Oxford, where he serves as a grants and themes advisor to the Templeton World Charity Foundation. He originally trained in engineering and biomedical science, obtaining a PhD in the latter from Cornell University. After a postdoctoral research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, Pete received a master’s degree from the Divinity School at Duke University, followed by a PhD in religious studies from the University of Queensland.

Papers recently published
By Peter N. Jordan
Science and the Reformation: Historiographical Soundings
S&CB (2017), 29, 142–160

Jennifer Wiseman – –  A Curious Cosmos?
Dr. Jennifer Wiseman is an astronomer, author, and speaker.  She studies the process of star and planet formation in our galaxy using radio, optical, and infrared telescopes.    She is also interested in national science policy and public science engagement, and directs the program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  She received her B.S. in physics from MIT, discovering comet Wiseman-Skiff in 1987, and continued her studies at Harvard, earning a Ph.D. in astronomy in 1995.

Dr. Wiseman is a Fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation, a network of Christians in Science.   She has authored several essays addressing the relationship of astronomy and Christian faith, including a chapter in the recent collection “True Scientists, True Faith” (editor R. J. Berry).  She frequently gives public talks on the excitement of scientific discovery. She grew up on an Arkansas farm enjoying late night stargazing walks with her parents and pets.

Roger WagnerClosing Reflection
Roger Wagner has been described by Charles Moore in The Spectator as the “best religious painter in Britain today”. He has work in public and private collections in Britain and around the world. Among recent commissions was a stained glass window (shortlisted for the ACE award for art in a religious context) that pairs John Piper’s famous window in St Mary’s Iffley, and the first portrait of the current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. He has produced several books of illustrated poems and three illustrated volumes of his own translation of the Psalms. He read English at Oxford, and then studied at the Royal Academy School of Art. In 1981 he returned to Oxford and began a conversation about science with Andrew Briggs.

The Penultimate Curiosity – How Science Swims in the Slipstream of Ultimate Questions. Roger Wagner and Andrew Briggs, Oxford University Press (2016)

Jona Foster – Oliver Barclay Lecture winner 2017 – Reigniting the chemistry between Science and Faith
Dr Jonathan Foster holds a Ramsay Fellowship and a Vice Chancellors Fellowship in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield. He completed his undergraduate and PhD studies at the University of Durham before moving to the University of Cambridge where he worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the Chemistry and Materials Science departments. In the lab, Jonathan spends his time playing with molecular lego, designing simple building blocks that stack together to form complex structures and materials with useful properties. He is a member of All Saints Church Ecclesall in Sheffield and enjoys going into schools to give talks on the ‘origin of life’, ‘amazing bubbles’ and ‘chemistry cluedo’.