Speakers

 
Professor Ard Louis
Ard Louis is a professor of Theoretical Physics at Oxford University, where he leads a team working on problems arising at the boundaries of chemistry, physics and biology. From 2002 to 2010 he was a Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford. He is an associate of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion. In 2013 he was elected a fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion. He co-presented the four part documentary 'Why we are here' with David Malone and appeared in 'The Story of God' with Morgan Freeman.
Professor Paul Davies
Paul Davies is Regents’ Professor of Physics, Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science and Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative at Arizona State University. His research has been mainly in the area of theoretical astrophysics and astrobiology, with emphasis on the big bang, black holes, the origin of life and SETI. He is also active in cancer research. He has received many scientific and literary awards, including the 1995 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, The Faraday Prize from The Royal Society and the Kelvin Medal of the UK Institute of Physics. He was made a member of the Order of Australia in the 2007 Queen's birthday honours list and received the Bicentenary Medal of Chile in 2011. The asteroid (6870) Pauldavies was named in recognition of his work on cosmic impacts. He has written several hundred research papers and 31 books, the latest of which is 'The Demon in the Machine,' which addresses the fundamental questions: ‘What is life?’ and ‘How did life begin?’ Davies is a lifelong populariser of science through television and radio series and newspaper and magazine articles. He is not conventionally religious but is passionate about addressing the big questions of existence in an open-minded and intellectually rigorous way.
John Lennox
John Lennox is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and Emeritus Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College, Oxford University. He is also an Associate Fellow of the Saïd Business School and teaches for the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme. John has lectured extensively in North America, Eastern and Western Europe and Australasia on mathematics, the philosophy of science and the intellectual defence of Christianity. He has written over seventy published mathematical papers and is the co-author of two research level texts in algebra in the Oxford Mathematical Monographs series. John has also produced numerous books exploring the interface of science, philosophy and theology, including God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?, Seven Days That Divide the World, Determined to Believe?, God and Stephen Hawking, and Can Science Explain Everything? He has participated in many public discussions with academics from around the world and has debated a number of high profile atheists, such as Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Peter Singer.
Francis Collins*
Francis Collins is an American physician-geneticist who discovered the genes associated with a number of diseases, including cystic fibrosis. In 1993 he was recruited to lead the Human Genome Project, which successfully read out the first complete sequence of the human DNA instruction book, and made that information public without intellectual property restrictions. Since 2009 he served as the Director of the National Institutes of Health, the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world. He has been elected to the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and has been honoured with both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science. Collins also has written a number of books on science, medicine, and religion, including the New York Times bestseller, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. Dr. Collins founded and served as initial leader of The BioLogos Foundation (biologos.org), which promotes thoughtful and civil discourse on the relationship between science and Christian faith.

*Invited, subject to approval by the US Government
Denis Alexander
Dr Denis Alexander is the Founding Director [Emeritus] of The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, Cambridge, where he is Emeritus Fellow of St. Edmund’s College. He is a past chair of the Molecular Immunology Programme and Head of the Laboratory of Lymphocyte Signalling and Development at The Babraham Institute, Cambridge. Dr Alexander was previously at the Imperial Cancer Research Laboratories in London (now Cancer Research UK) and spent 15 years developing university departments and laboratories overseas, latterly as Associate Professor of Biochemistry in the Medical Faculty of the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, where he helped to establish the National Unit of Human Genetics. From 1992-2013 he was Editor of the journal Science and Christian Belief, and Dr Alexander also served as a member of the executive committee of the International Society for Science and Religion. Having given the Gifford Lectures at St. Andrews University in 2012, these lectures were published by CUP in August 2017 under the title ‘Genes, Determinism and God’. Dr Alexander’s latest book is ‘Is There Purpose in Biology?’ [Oxford: Lion, 2018]. Dr Alexander lectures, debates widely on the topic of science and religion. Recently he defended the motion ‘This House believes that science that will never have the answers to life’s biggest questions’ (on Youtube here) at the Oxford Union’s famous debating society. The motion was won easily.
Sharon Dirckx
Sharon Dirckx is a Senior Tutor at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA) and an RZIM Apologist. Originally from a scientific background, she has a PhD in brain imaging from the University of Cambridge and has held research positions in the UK and USA. Sharon speaks and lectures in the UK, Europe and North America on science, theology, ‘mind and soul’ and the problem of evil. Recently, she spoke at the Veritas Forum at the University of Oxford. Sharon has appeared on several BBC programmes including Songs of Praise, Radio 2 Good Morning Sunday and Radio 4 Beyond Belief. She is also the author of the award-winning book on suffering, entitled 'Why?:Looking at God, evil and personal suffering'. Her latest book, ‘Am I just my brain?’, examines questions of human identity from the perspectives of neuroscience, philosophy and theology.
George Ellis
George Ellis is the Emeritus distinguished professor of complex systems in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He co-authored The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time with University of Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking, published in 1973, and is considered one of the world's leading theorists in cosmology. He is an active Quaker and in 2004 he won the Templeton Prize. From 1989 to 1992 he served as president of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation. He is a past president of the International Society for Science and Religion. Prof Ellis is also Visiting Professor Physics Department, Oxford University 2016-2018 and visiting Professor of Complex Systems, Said School of Business, Oxford University 2019-2021. He is the author of several important books including "On the Moral Nature of the Universe: Cosmology, Theology and Ethics" (1996).
Lee Strobel
Lee Strobel was formerly a committed atheist. Lee Strobel qualified as a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri and gained a Masters in law from Yale. Lee was an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune for 14 years, winning United Press International’s top award for investigative journalism. He converted to Christianity after setting out to disprove the resurrection and thus persuade his wife to abandon her newly found faith in Christ. The result was the reverse. Lee’s story has been famously told in the book 'The Case for Christ' which was made into a popular film released in 2017. His recent release, 'The Case for Grace, won the 2016 Nonfiction Book of the Year from the EPCA.
NT Wright
NT (Tom) Wright is a leading New Testament scholar and authority on the historical evidence for the resurrection. He was the Bishop of Durham (2003-2010) and is now Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St Mary’s College in the University of St Andrews. Tom is a prolific writer and author of over eighty works including 'The Resurrection of the Son of God' considered by many to be the seminal Christian work on the resurrection of Jesus. In 2014, he was awarded the Burkitt Medal by the British Academy 'in recognition of special service to Biblical Studies'. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE).