Science Missioner

Welcome to the Science Missioner's page. The Science Missioner role exists to make connections between the church community and the local science community, to enable dialogue on matters of science and religion, and to help the church engage with some of the scientific issues that affect us all, such as global climate change and how to respond to the challenges it presents.


You can link to the Science Missioner's web site here.

New blog posts will appear on the Science Missioner web site. Previous blog posts can be read below.

For more information you can email me at

                                                        Jennifer Brown, Science Missioner


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Does it have to be science OR religion?
The Guardian's web site has published a piece on the decline of religion, essentially making the claim that science negates the need for faith among the young. Although statistically, church attendance in the UK has been declining for some years, this is not the same as claiming that people are abandoning Christianity for atheism, or that science is the reason.

Does the Church have a right to speak out about medical procedures?
A proposed new technique to replace an embryo's damaged mitochondrial DNA with healthy mitochondrial DNA from a donor has had a high profile in the news this week, as has the opposition from church leaders to this procedure. The purpose of this procedure is to prevent children inheriting mitochondrial diseases, which can have a devistating effect. "Why," many would ask, "would the Church object to something that will save lives and prevent suffering?" Others would simply ask what right the Church has to speak out at all about the development of new medical procedures.

Today, 6th January, is the feast of the Epiphany. This festival celebrates the visit of the three wise men to the infant Jesus. The wise men are important figures in the Christian tradition, but the truth is that we don’t really know who the wise men were.

At Christmas
It's Christmas Eve, and many churches will have their first celebration of Christmas tonight.

Certainty and uncertainty in science and religion
The early years of modern science created a sense of certainty about things. Scientists were discovering ‘laws’ that governed the ways in which the universe behaved, and these laws could be represented very precisely and accurately in mathematical formulae. This led to a way of thinking that equated the search for truth with the search for certainty. This, in turn, had an impact on biblical studies, as people began to look for things that they could claim with certainty were facts within the scriptures, including the gospels.

Comet watching
Like many people, I spent last Thursday to Saturday transfixed by the successful landing of Philae on comet 67P and the images that it sent back. Just getting Philae onto the comet was a major achievement, and would have had to count as a successful mission even if no data were received. But fortunately, Philae, despite its bumpy landing, did exactly what it was supposed to, and returned loads of data, together with some amazing images.

Gothic Science
Over the past few weeks, the BBC has been running what it has called its 'Gothic Season', covering a range of subjections from art to architecture to literature. Several of these Gothic Season programmes have either focused on or included mention of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. By coincidence, this was also the book chosen for the first meeting of the Science & Society book group, which took place on 29th October.

Science in the (Church) News
The Church Times this week ran a comment piece by Dr Mark Vernon on the current goings on in the study of evolution. As Dr Vernon points out in his article, evolution is often at the centre of the Science-Religion debate.

Report from the Science & Religion Forum Conference 2014
As I write this, I am at Leeds Trinity University, where I am attending the annual conference of the Science-Religion Forum. The subject of the conference is “Laws of nature, laws of God?”

Science and warfare
Today, 4th August, marks 100 years from the start of the First World War. It seems appropriate, therefore, to offer a reflection on the relationship between science and war.

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