‘SCIENCE, Faith and the Snow Queen’ was the title of this year’s King’s Ely Senior Osmond Lecture.

The annual event was established and endowed by the Old Eleans’ Club to commemorate the career of Leonard Osmond, a Science teacher at the school from 1930 to 1970.

This year’s lecture was hosted by Father Andrew Pinsent, Research Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion at Oxford University, a member of the Theology Faculty, a Research Fellow of Harris Manchester College and a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton.

Father Andrew spoke most eloquently on both the benefits and limitations of Science and Religion, claiming that Science had a desire to develop knowledge of the universe by measuring it and therefore viewing it through a constrained (largely Cartesian) paradigm.

Head of Science at King’s Ely Senior, Ned Kittoe, said: “Father Andrew’s argument was that the humanity subjects provided opportunities to view the same thing without the same constraints, therefore the study of those subjects assists the study of Science in the same way that one cannot really learn anything without challenging the paradigms that one automatically assumes.

“Father Andrew pointed out that the majority of Nobel Prize winners have regarded themselves as religious, and his argument continued that therefore scientific development would not have begun or been maintained without the contemplative lifestyle espoused by religious orders.

“Father Andrew’s most memorable quip? “The Big Bang Theory opposes Christianity? Ridiculous – we (the Jesuits) invented it!” before going on to project a picture of Father George’s Lemaitre. The talk was most thought provoking and made us all question our roles in the development of knowledge here in King’s Ely Senior.”

The focus of Father Andrew’s present research is the application of insights from autism and social cognition to ‘second-person’ accounts of moral perception and character formation. His previous scientific research contributed to the DELPHI experiment at CERN and he is a co-author of thirty-one publications of the collaboration.

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