LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion) and Westminster Abbey Education worked in partnership to put on this popular event for a second year running:
We were delighted to welcome x90 Sixth Formers who study Religious Education to our one day event which aimed to transform how students think about Big Questions.
Students were joined by experts in the fields of both science and religion for a day of workshops which invited students to produce new thinking about Big Questions.
This year’s event gave rise to student feedback such as “I enjoyed the Q and A as I learn more with interaction and it helps me learn and question others’ opinions”… “Fascinating to observe the ethics behind genetics” ….
This year’s key theme: Does and should the advance of human like machines and AI change how we understand human significance?
• Can science make better humans?
• All you need is science, or is it? Being fully human in the modern world.
• Kepler and his theological vision of astronomy.
• Beyond Descartes: future-proofing how we think about the soul.
• Spaghetti and personality.
• Can a robot be more than a robot?
Outcomes: Students developed mind maps that were discussed in the plenary and took part in a lively debate with the following panel speakers to pose their own Big Questions from the day;
• Revd Jennifer Brown
• Dr Elisabetta Canetta
• Revd Mark Laynesmith
• Dr John Bryant
• Prof Berry Billingsley
• OCR Religious Studies module on Philosophy and Religion ‘Soul, mind and body’
• AQA Religious Studies module on Ethics and Religion ‘Free will and moral responsibility’
• Edexcel Religious Studies module on Influences in Development of Religious Belief ‘Religion and science debates’
• Cambridge Pre-U Certificate in Philosophy and Theology ‘Conscience, free will and determinism’