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Christians in Science Event: Science as the new priesthood – what is truth now? Can we dare to admit ignorance?


Christians in Science is a professional network of all those interested in the interface between science and Christian faith. This year we are looking at “Science, Faith and Society” and this talk is the first of the series where we look at how certain scientists can be about truth.

The old advice to preachers was “when in doubt, shout” could be termed in a different way along the lines “science has shown…” both designed to stop any more debate on the subject in question. Just what is meant by “science” and who decides what “science” says? Those without a scientific training do not always understand that science is progressive and that we make statements based on the best evidence available.  With new data comes new conclusions and so we appear to be "always changing our minds" and thus cannot be trusted.  The tendency for some scientists to speak with greater certainty than they should (i.e. as “priests”) doesn't help. Furthermore, the Open Science and Citizen Science movements are challenging traditional scientific careers and approaches to doing science and in effect democratising science but raising huge issues of trust and potential manipulation by the media to support their political and economic stances. 

In this talk, John will look at extremes of science where the truth is not so apparent using examples from his own experience of more recent years in the field of large international facilities and experiments to “see” how the world is formed. The bible uses “observation and seeing” extensively to take us beyond what is before us. “Amos, what do you see?” Time and time again God challenges our observations of what we perceive to be truth.

Professor John Wood CBE, FREng, D.Met (Sheffield) Ph.D. (Cambridge) is currently chair of the ATTRACT advisory board based at CERN.

When: Friday 27 September 2019, 7pm for 7.30pm; finishes 9.30pm

Where: Redland Church Hall, Redland Green Rd, Bristol BS6 7HE

Price: Entrance free; suggested donation £5 to cover event costs

For more information, please visit

Earlier Event: September 12
One25 Volunteer Information Evening
Later Event: October 5
Press Red Bristol Conference