Senior Lecturer in Science and Religion
As a physicist working in a theological environment, I'm interested in the complex ways that science and religion relate to each other. Active in physics for many years, I'm known (with Steve Bramwell of University College London) as the discoverer of 'spin ice', a counter-intuitive model that has revolutionised research in magnetism. Midway through my scientific career I discovered theology, a moment of awakening not unlike that provided by my first chemistry set at the age of ten. After ordination as an Anglican priest, and spells in university chaplaincy at Oxford, and cathedral ministry in Edinburgh, I now combine my academic interests in physics and theology by running the Science and Religion programme of study and research at Edinburgh. I am currently working on a project to create online distance learning programmes in Philosophy, Science, and Religion (funded by the John Templeton Foundation), along with my colleagues Dr Jamie Collin (Divinity), and Prof Duncan Pritchard (Philosophy). My research interests include the relationship between the physical sciences and theology, and the impact of science on modern views of the Bible, especially in thinking on miracles and divine action. I am currently working on a book project on naturalism (the philosophical basis for the natural sciences), and the ways that historical debates on naturalism in geology provide a new way of looking at miracles.