Reverend Professor David Wilkinson
Chief Project Director and Principal of St. John’s College.
David is a professor in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University and has PhDs in astrophysics and systematic theology.
He is a regular contributor to Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’ and has lectured and written widely on the relationship between science and religion.
His most recent book God, Stephen Hawking and the Multiverse: What Hawking Said and Why it Matters (SPCK, 2020) is widely available.
Professor Tom McLeish, FRS
Co-Project Director and Chair of the Education Committee at the Royal Society.
Tom McLeish is Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Department of Physics at the University of York, England. He is also a member of York’s Centre for Medieval Studies and Humanities Research Centre. His research in ‘soft matter and biological physics’ draws on interdisciplinary collaborations to understand how material properties emerge from molecular structure and dynamics. He leads the UK ‘Physics of Life’ network, and holds a five-year research fellowship on protein physics and evolution. His OUP Very Short Introduction to Soft Matter appears in 2020.
Tom is passionate about radical interdisciplinary thinking, contributing to several national reports on interdisciplinary research. He also works on the framing of science within theology, sociology, history, education and philosophy, leading to the recent books Faith and Wisdom in Science (OUP 2014) and The Poetry and Music of Science (OUP 2019). He co-leads the Ordered Universe project, a large interdisciplinary study of 13th century science. From 2008 to 2014 he served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at Durham University and was from 2015-2020 Chair of the Royal Society’s Education Committee.
The Rt Revd Dr Richard Cheetham
Bishop of Kingston and Co-Project Director.
The Rt Revd Dr Richard Cheetham has been Bishop of Kingston since 2002. He studied Physics and Philosophy at Oxford before teaching Physics for five years. He is Whitelands Professorial Fellow in Christian Theology and Contemporary Issues at the University of Roehampton and Honorary Research Fellow at King’s College, London.
Bishop Richard’s interest in truth claims and the major issues of the 21st century includes the relationship between religion and science, including developing holistic approaches to schools’ science teaching; living well together among different religious and secular world views; the environment; and climate change.
The Revd Dr Kathryn Pritchard
Co-Project Director and Research Fellow.
Kathryn has extensive professional experience in religious broadcasting and publishing, and a research interest in Church of England bioethics-related public discourse.
Based in the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs Division at the Archbishops’ Council, she helps inform and resource engagement with science across the Church of England public policy team and parliamentary unit, the wider National Church Institutions, and Church of England bishops in the House of Lords. She leads research into Church public policy related discourse in AI Ethics and other current science-related policy matters. She also contributes to strategic communications across the ECLAS project.
The Revd Dr Malcolm Brown
Church of England Partner and the Director of Mission and Public Affairs for the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England.
The Revd Dr Malcolm Brown leads the team which engages at national level with Parliament, government and policy makers and with other faiths and beliefs, and which resources dioceses and parishes in mission and social engagement.
Malcolm has been a parish priest, industrial missioner, and Director of the William Temple Foundation. He has taught ethics and practical theology in several universities, and was Principal of the Eastern Region Ministry Course. His publications include Tensions in Christian Ethics [SPCK, 2010] and Anglican Social Theology (ed.) [CHP, 2014].
Dr Amanda Rees
Co-Project Leader and Principal Investigator, York.
Amanda Rees is a historian of science based at York University’s Department of Sociology. She specialises in the history of field sciences, especially ethology and ecology, in the history of human-animal relationships, and in the history of future. She has spent the past five years researching the way that different narratives of science have been used to create different versions of the human future, and on the crucial role that religion has played in both the history of science and science fiction.
Currently, she edits the British Journal for the History of Science, and is one of the co-editors of History of the Human Sciences. Her latest book, co-written with Charlotte Sleigh (University of Kent), is about the ways in which different cultures have created and defined ‘humanity’, and will be published by Reaktion Books in 2020.
Dr Franziska E. Kohlt
Post Doctoral Research Associate, York.
Fran is a researcher in Science Communication, the History of Science, and Literature, and an active science communicator with an interest in the socio-psychological history of what narratives make science communication effective. She holds degrees in Communication & Media Science, English, and Comparative Literature from the Universities of Leipzig and Sheffield, and completed her doctorate on Dreams and Visions in Victorian Psychology and Fantastic Literature at the University of Oxford.
Dr Alex Fry
Post Doctoral Research Associate, London.
Alex completed his PhD in the Department of Theology & Religion at Durham University. His research explored the historical, sociological and psychological factors that shape the attitudes that male clergy hold towards women’s ordination within the Church of England. Findings from this study have been disseminated in journal articles and Alex is currently writing a book based on this research, which is under contract with Routledge. Since finishing the PhD Alex has held the William Leech Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at St. John’s College, Durham where he explored the well-being of those belonging to Christian communities in some of the country’s most deprived areas. Alex has also taught a module on artificial intelligence at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Dr Thoko Kamwendo
Post Doctoral Research Associate, Durham.
Thoko will be carrying out research focusing on the attitudes of senior church leaders toward science and science engaged theology. Thoko is an interdisciplinary researcher with a background in the Sociology of Religion (MA), the History and Theory of Psychology (MSc) and Science and Technology Studies (Ph.D.). She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh in 2017 on the history of the Heuristics and Biases Programme and Behavioural Economics. Before coming to work for the ECLAS project she was a postdoc at the University of Edinburgh focusing on the implementation of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) at the level of funding organisations.
Revd Dr Lucas Mix
Lucas specializes in fostering dialogue around science, religion, and reality. He has a PhD in evolutionary biology from Harvard and specializes in the various meanings of “life.” His past work includes research on astrobiology and historical life concepts. A priest in the Episcopal Church (USA), he has also worked as a college chaplain, a NASA contractor, and a martial arts teacher. His books include Thinking Fair: Rules for Reason in Science and Religion and Life Concepts from Aristotle to Darwin.
Deputy Project Co-ordinator.
Despina is the Deputy Project Co-ordinator and is responsible for the Scientists in Congregations programme and organising conferences for senior church leaders and scientists. She recently graduated from Durham University with a Criminology degree, and has previously worked at Cranmer Hall, Durham University.
Helen is responsible for media relations, social media and the ECLAS website. Helen has a degree in Chinese Studies and a Master’s degree in the Politics of Population, Migration and Ecology. She has worked in communications for many years, including at two national medical research charities.
Judith joins the team as a Graduate Intern. She is responsible for the administrative aspects of the project as well as assisting with Communications. Judith has recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Theology at Queen’s University, Belfast and is looking forward to learning about how the dialogue between Christianity and Science can be more effective.