This youth-led project led by young people from St Andrew’s Church Bishopthorpe in York, helped by staff from the Archbishop of York Youth Trust, put on a day conference called ‘OMG Science! Unlocking the wonder of our world…’ for students from secondary schools across York back in March 2017. We were lucky enough to have some leading Physicists and Biologists with us for the day, as well as a team of young postgrads and lecturers from York and Leeds and Sheffield Universities. These experts really gave the young people confidence to engage in issues touching on both faith and science. The event lived up to its name, giving students the opportunity to explore a wide range of issues. Seminar titles included: ‘the nanoworld – small is different’, ‘evolution – is there really a clash of science and faith?’ ‘natural disasters or evil?’ and ‘life, the sea, and other mysteries.’ We had use of a giant cosmodome for the day, which opened up questions about the origins, the vastness, and the meaning of the universe.
Due to the generosity of those who gave their time to speak at or take part in this event, we have funds left for a second conference, which we intend to run along similar lines next year, probably in nearby Leeds. There is also material to prepare to develop a scientific module for the Archbishop of York Young Leaders Award – a key part of our programme.