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2022 Scientists Network

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    Scientists Network
Equipping leaders to obtain the language and courage to engage in the scientific arena with a biblical understanding of the cosmos

The European Science Network is committed to two main purposes: (1) Increase the praise of God the Creator-Saviour through what humans study and know in His creation (Col 1:16) and (2) Put scientific findings in the context of His Word so that what we know about His creation will not obfuscate our knowledge of Himself (2 Cor 10:5).

In order to achieve its purposes, the European Science Network is geared to serve two kinds of audiences: (1) Scientists and Christians interested in science will obtain the knowledge, language, and courage to do science and speak about science within the framework of a Bible-informed Christian understanding of the cosmos. (2) Christians of all backgrounds will be helped to understand and interact with scientific findings and claims in a way that is truly apologetic, integrating scientific facts into the Christian worldview in an affirmative, active way rather than only defensively and reactively. At the same time, the demarcation lines will be demonstrated between scientific facts and their interpretation by naturalistic vs. Christian worldviews. We do not shy away from sensitive subjects like the evolution debate and ethical implications, engaging in constructive, respectful discussions.

Applicants should be involved in full-time scientific work or have a strong interest and background in the integration of science and Christianity. This Network will be led by Alexander Fink, Director of the Institute for Faith and Science, and Peter Imming, Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry in Germany.

Network Leadership

Alexander Fink is Director of the Institute for Faith and Science (Institut für Glaube und Wissenschaft) in Marburg, Germany (www.iguw.de). He studied physics at the universities of Bayreuth and St. Andrews (UK) and received his PhD at the Institute for Biophysics at the University of Regensburg. After having worked as an industrial product manager, he became director of SMD graduates' ministry (Akademiker-SMD, the German branch of IFES) until 2014. His passion is the dialogue of science, faith, and worldviews, and has given apologetic lectures in Germany and other European countries. Since 2008 he has been a member of the ELF Steering Committee and has co-led the Scientists Network. He is editor of the "Begründet-glauben-Podcast" (www.begruendet-glauben.org) and has produced two documentary movies "Fascinating universe" and "More than my brain" which have been recommended by a German federal media centre for use in public schools. Together with his wife, Alexander enjoys raising his two children, leading a house group in his local church in which he regularly leads services and preaches. He also is the coach of a youth soccer team.

Peter Imming received degrees in pharmacy and chemistry and a PhD and venia legendi in pharmaceutical chemistry from a German university. He has been involved in drug chemistry teaching and research in Germany, the UK, China, and other countries. Currently, he is head of a pharmaceutical/medicinal chemistry department of a German university. His research focuses on the design and synthesis of new drug substances and on molecular mechanisms of drug action. He has a strong interest in the relation of science and Christian faith, frequently lecturing on related topics by invitation of e.g. universities, churches, and schools.

Network Speakers

Lars Dahle is a theologian, educator, preacher, and apologist. Having a long previous experience in various academic leadership roles, he now works as Associate Professor in Systematic Theology and Christian Apologetics at Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication (NLA Kristiansand), where he has lectured in worldviews, ethics, and apologetics since 1991. Lars wrote his PhD on Acts 17:16-34. It is entitled An Apologetic Model Then and Now? (Open University, UK). Since 2013, he is also the Lausanne Catalyst for Media Engagement. Lars has written several academic and popular articles on apologetics, media engagement and missiology and was a co-editor of The Lausanne Movement: A Range of Perspectives (Oxford: Regnum, 2014). He is also the Founding Editor of the peer-reviewed Nordic apologetic journal Theofilos. In addition, Lars co-leads the European Leadership Forum Media Communicators Network with his wife, Margunn. Follow Lars on his blog Media Messages Matter or on his Twitter account @LarsDahle.

Alistair Donald is a full-time Chaplain to Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is a graduate of St Andrews University, and he then studied in Wales for a PhD in environmental science. Working for what is now the Environment Agency, he published research on acid rain and water pollution, before moving back to Scotland as an environmental advisor to the former Scottish Office (now the Scottish Government). After training at New College for the Church of Scotland ministry, he served in a rural parish in Aberdeenshire for ten years before taking up his present post at Heriot-Watt in 2009. He has a long-standing interest in the relationship between the Christian faith and science. He is married to Nicky, and they have 3 grown sons.

Alexander Fink is Director of the Institute for Faith and Science (Institut für Glaube und Wissenschaft) in Marburg, Germany (www.iguw.de). He studied physics at the universities of Bayreuth and St. Andrews (UK) and received his PhD at the Institute for Biophysics at the University of Regensburg. After having worked as an industrial product manager, he became director of SMD graduates' ministry (Akademiker-SMD, the German branch of IFES) until 2014. His passion is the dialogue of science, faith, and worldviews, and has given apologetic lectures in Germany and other European countries. Since 2008 he has been a member of the ELF Steering Committee and has co-led the Scientists Network. He is editor of the "Begründet-glauben-Podcast" (www.begruendet-glauben.org) and has produced two documentary movies "Fascinating universe" and "More than my brain" which have been recommended by a German federal media centre for use in public schools. Together with his wife, Alexander enjoys raising his two children, leading a house group in his local church in which he regularly leads services and preaches. He also is the coach of a youth soccer team.

Peter Imming received degrees in pharmacy and chemistry and a PhD and venia legendi in pharmaceutical chemistry from a German university. He has been involved in drug chemistry teaching and research in Germany, the UK, China, and other countries. Currently, he is head of a pharmaceutical/medicinal chemistry department of a German university. His research focuses on the design and synthesis of new drug substances and on molecular mechanisms of drug action. He has a strong interest in the relation of science and Christian faith, frequently lecturing on related topics by invitation of e.g. universities, churches, and schools.

Andy McIntosh holds an Emeritus Chair in thermodynamics at the University of Leeds, is an Adjunct Professor at Liberty University in Virginia, and has lectured and researched in these fields for over 30 years. He has a PhD in combustion theory from the aerodynamics department of what was then Cranfield Institute of Technology (now Cranfield University), a DSc in Applied Mathematics from the University of Wales, and worked for a number of years at the Royal Aircraft Establishment. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, the Institute of Energy, the Institute of Physics and the Royal Aeronautical Society. A chartered mathematician, engineer, and author of over 200 papers and articles, his research has been in combustion in fluids and solids. His work has also included investigations into the fundamental link between thermodynamics and information, and in latter years he has been involved in research in the area of biomimetics where the minute combustion chamber of the bombardier beetle has inspired a patented novel spray technology. He now lectures widely on origins, has authored the books Genesis for Today (Day One, 6th Edition, 2017) and A Verse by Verse Examination of Genesis 1-11 (Day One, 2016), and has contributed to a number of other books including Wonders of Creation – Design in a Fallen World (co-authored with Stuart Burgess and Brian Edwards, Day One, 2017), Origins – Examining the Evidence (Truth in Science, 2011), In Six Days (Master Books, 2009), and Should Christians Embrace Evolution? (IVP, 2009). He has also produced the booklets Are you really an atheist? (2018), and (with Stuart Burgess and Brian Edwards), Is it true? – Evidence for Creation (Day One, 2018). He is a member of Logos Research Associates, is co-director of the UK education think tank Truth in Science, is on the Advisory Board of The Values Foundation (an influential advocacy group representing Judaeo-Christian Values in Education to the UK Government), and is also on the steering group of the International Certificate of Christian Education. Andy is married with 3 children and 6 grandchildren.

Tony Rinaudo is known as “The Forest Maker.” His pioneering work on Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) since 1983 has revived millions of hectares from desolate dry ground to thriving arable land across more than twenty countries in Africa. This rehabilitation brings with it increased food security and sustainability for thousands of communities. Rinaudo’s work has earned him numerous awards and accolades including being named a 2018 Right Livelihood Laureate (often referred to as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”). As World Vision’s Principal Climate Action Advisor and Natural Resources Management Specialist, Rinaudo teaches FMNR and offers hope in God’s name to farming communities around the world.

Doris Vollmer studied physics at the University of Bielefeld, the ETH Zurich (Switzerland) and the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands). She completed her PhD at the University of Basel in physical chemistry. For her habilitation (2000) she moved to Mainz and joined the group of Prof. Manfred Schmidt. From 2001-2002 she worked at the Institute of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh (Great Britain) as a Marie Curie Fellowship. In 2002 she joined the group of Hans-Jürgen Butt and became group leader in May 2003. In 2015 she obtained an associate professorship at the Physics Department of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Currently, she is the coordinator of the Innovative Training Network (ITN) on Lubricant Impregnated Slippery Surfaces (LubISS) (http://www.lubiss.eu/).

Network Programme

Sunday, 22 May

Suppose climate change is true and caused by humans. Climate change often leads to intense discussions. What are its causes? Can we accurately model climate change? What is our responsibility as Christians to handle this problem? This session will discuss the role of burning fossil fuels, the idea of tipping points in scientific models, and the possible consequences of climate change for our life on earth.

Few doubt that there have been and continue to be changes in climatic conditions, but it is very important to consider the causes of such climate change. With data that indicates that the current warming is not isolated in history, what causes climate warming? In this session, we will look at promising lines of investigation conducted by a number of researchers and examine carefully some of the climate modelling of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). How much evidence do we have that humanity is impacting the world climate?

Monday, 23 May

Climate change, land degradation, and species loss are impacting millions of the world’s poorest people, contributing to hunger, poverty, migration, and conflict. Caring for creation and healing environmental wounds must go hand in hand with caring for those whose livelihoods depend on the natural resources around them. The two are inseparable, and in fact, the only way healing and restoration of any significance is going to happen is with and through the people who live on the land. This session will discuss current challenges facing the world's farmers and ways we can partner with them to overcome these challenges in God's name.

A consensus has emerged that the only ethical response to today's widespread concern about the effects of climate change is for the world to move to net zero emissions of CO2 as quickly as possible, and for developed countries to make huge cash transfers to developing countries. Yet in the recent past, some well-intentioned policies which enjoyed consensus when first proposed have resulted in unforeseen negative consequences for the environment. Some of the measures now being proposed risk exacerbating rather than ameliorating poverty in both developing and developed countries. Responsible Christian stewardship may require re-thinking these issues.

Tuesday, 24 May

Media coverage has helped create global awareness of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration and the importance of environmental restoration to the poor, the environment, and climate. What is our duty as Christians in caring for creation and stewarding well the earth we have been given? How can we best communicate about the church's role in environmental restoration? This is a joint session between the Media Communicators and Scientists Networks.

Scientific research is more and more supposed to serve one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs, while not formulated under particularly Christian auspices, can be traced back to God's command that humans exert good stewardship of creation. Using examples from the speaker's own drug and bioeconomics related research and teaching, this talk will show how Christians can tailor their work so that it serves one or more SDGs, concomitantly staying true to the Lord's stipulations. This constructive - rather than critical - approach will lend credibility to the Christian worldview of creation.

Wednesday, 25 May

Scientists collect data and try to make sense of them. Often conflicting theories arise, as worldview presuppositions and other factors enter into the interpretations. How can we compare different approaches and decide on the best explanation? This session will summarise and compare the different positions on how to think about scientific evidence within a Christian worldview.

How do the facts and ethics related to climate change impact how we talk and interact with others? Can we use climate change as a connection point to persuasively communicate the gospel? This panel discussion will reflect on how to use the material learned this year in our teaching, research, and communication with colleagues and students.