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The 2023 E.T.S. Walton Lecture on Science and Religion was given by:

Prof. Paul Ewart

University of Oxford

Faith in Science - The Relevance of Science for Christian Belief

Thursday 11 May 2023 at Union Theological College, Belfast
Audio recording of lecture (mp3, 13 Mb)
Slides (pdf, 1.9 Mb)

Thursday 18 May 2023 at Trinity Church, Dublin
Video recording of lecture (YouTube)

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Abstract. Science today is often seen as in conflict with belief in God. It is thought by some people to justify atheism and by some religious people to be a danger that undermines faith, and therefore to be avoided. However, it was faith in one Creator God that led to Science, and Science itself provides pointers to God that can enhance faith and worship. Faith in Science as the only valid path to truth will be shown to be misplaced, but that science, as it feeds into natural theology, supports Christian faith as a rationally justified belief.

Paul Ewart has obtained a B.Sc. and Ph.D. in Physics from Queen’s University Belfast and then was an (SERC) Advanced Fellow at the Blackett Laboratory at Imperial College of Science and Technology in London. In 1979 he moved to the Physics Department at Oxford University, later becoming Professor of Physics and Head of the Department of Atomic and Laser Physics at Oxford University, as well as a Tutor and Fellow of Worcester College. He is now Emeritus Professor at Oxford University.

His research work has centred on using lasers to study atomic and molecular physics, quantum optics and nonlinear spectroscopy, including interdisciplinary applications of laser spectroscopy to combustion and environmental physics. He has held visiting professorships at the Joint Institute of Laboratory Astrophysics and the University of Colorado in Boulder, USA, at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, and at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Paul Ewart is a former Director of The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, and is the current Chair of Christians in Science. More information about Paul Ewart can be found on his personal webpage.

These lectures have been organised by Christians in Science Ireland in collaboration with Union Theological College and Trinity Church Dublin.

The E. T. S. Walton Lectures on Science and Religion

The E. T. S. Walton Lectures on Science and Religion (Walton Lectures in brief) are a series of lectures on currents topics related to science and religion, suitable to an audience of academics and informed lay persons. Each year a speaker, who is a scientist, philosopher, or theologian of international reputation, will be invited to give a lecture, which will be held in one or more locations on the island of Ireland.

The Walton Lectures are named after physicist and Nobel laureate the late Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton. Walton's work as a scientist and his Christian commitment are well documented in the biography written by V. J. McBrierty: Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton, The Irish Scientist, 1903-1995 (Trinity College Dublin, 2003). Walton was a committed member of the Methodist church, and following the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1951 jointly to himself and John Cockroft, he spoke on science and religion to audiences in Ireland, the United States, and Sweden.

The Walton Lectures are organised by Christians in Science Ireland.

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