Science and Faith

This programme looks at the relationship between science and faith as it explores topics such as neuroscience or genetic modification.

Spring 2023 Series

The eight episodes of this series will be broadcast from 18 February to 13 April 2023, on Saturdays at 20:00, Mondays at 17:00 and Thursdays at 00:30. More information about these episodes can be found at

Spring 2022 Series

The seven episodes of this series will be broadcast from 20 May 2022 to 13 July 2022, on Fridays at 20:30, Sundays at 16:00 and Mondays at 22:00. More information about these episodes can be found at

Autumn 2021 Series

This series will be broadcast from 13 September 2021 on Mondays at 11:00, Tuesdays at 21:00, Wednesdays at 01:00 and Saturdays at 17:00. From 18 October, its broadcast times change to Mondays at 11:00 and 22:00, Wednesday at 00:30, Thursday at 20:00 and Saturday at 17:00.

13 to 18 September

9: Reductionism We kick off this season with an episode on reductionism. While reductionism has become an accepted term in academia, it is nowhere near to the way people live their lives. One would intuitively think that human existence is more than just physical existence, but where does that inner human desire come from? And is it true or just an illusion?  We also explore whether biology can be reduced to physics, to what extent this approach is helpful for science, what are the limitations of a reductionist way of thinking, and how God fits into this picture. In order to tackle those questions, and many more, we have invited two guest speakers: Father Mariusz Tabaczek, a Dominican theologian specialising in science-theology dialogue, and Professor Wilson Poon, physicist and Professor of Natural Philosophy. Are we nothing but a bunch of atoms? See the blog post about this episode.

20 to 25 September

10: Eating Catholic: Nutrition and Fasting In this episode we explored whether a ‘Catholic approach to food’ is possible and what it could look like, especially with regards to fasting and abstinence. We look at fasting as a spiritual practice, how and why Christians do so until this day, and, of course, we delve into some of the science behind nutrition and food. In order to tackle these questions we have invited two guest speakers: Dr Elisabeth Cocran, a functional medicine practitioner, and Professor Jay W. Richards, theologian and writer. My favourite quote in Professor Richard’s book Eat, Fast, Feast reads “We’re a pampered lot. Most of us have never gone a day without eating. We get shaky if we go more than four hours without a vanilla latte or yoghurt smoothie or granola bar or protein shake”. How should we decide what and how much to eat? When we hear scientific advice on what we should eat, what criteria are used to come up with this advice?  Since Friday 16th September 2011 Catholics in England and Wales have been required to abstain from meat on Fridays. What should one do about the next mouthful of a half-eaten ham sandwich upon realising it is indeed Friday? See the blog post about this episode.

27 September to 2 October

11: Subdue the Earth: Catholics and The Environment In this episode we delved into what our relationship with God and our global neighbour has to do with the care for the environment and how today’s climate crisis fits into the much broader picture of the story of salvation for us as Christians. To help us answer those questions, we were very fortunate to host Sr Margaret Atkins, an Augustinian Canoness specialising in faith, ethics and ecology, and Xavier de Bénazé, a Jesuit and newly-ordained deacon building bridges between Ecology and Theology. What’s climate change all about and why is it so important? What are some of the key ideas Pope Francis discusses in Laudato Si’ that can help us better understand our relationship with the environment and our care for it? How do we act responsibly  at different levels: World – Community – Family? Ultimately, how does care for the environment connect to the story of salvation? See the blog post about this episode.

4 to 9 October

12: God and Mathematics: Truth and Beauty In this episode we explored the realm of mathematics and investigated what Maths can tell us about God. We had the honour and pleasure to host Professor Francis Su who, alongside Father Robert Verrill, gave us a fascinating insight into the beautiful complexity of mathematics. They talked about what inspired them to study that discipline, whether there’s beauty to be found in mathematics, the limits what mathematics can tell us about the world, great mathematicians, and Biblical numerology among others matters. Does God have to follow the laws of logic or can He contradict himself? Can God make a stone so heavy that he cannot lift it Himself? See the blog post about this episode.

11 to 16 October

13: Mental Health, faith and wellbeing In this episode we explored mental health with insights from science, philosophy and theology. We had the honour and pleasure to have two guest speakers: consultant psychiatrist Dr T Ayodele Ajayi and assistant psychologist Julia Szacilo. We discussed some of the ways mental health difficulties arise, the role genetics and environmental factors play, the wealth of job roles as well as how mental health professionals look after themselves. We also talked about how a decision about treatment is made, developing virtue, and increasing trust in God in the face of adversity. Finally, we asked whether we should be seeking Christian professionals and we touched on how we can support our loved ones. And we asked where is God in the midst of the struggle? See the blog post about this episode.

18 to 23 October

14: God, humans and artificial intelligence In this episode, we looked into the present state of Artificial Intelligence and weighed potential dangers and benefits for society. We investigated many ethical questions regarding Artificial Intelligence from a faith perspective with Ilyas Khan KSG, CEO of Cambridge Quantum Computing, Matthew Johnson, research scientist at Microsoft, and our theological advisor, Father Robert Verill. Can Artificial Intelligence develop consciousness and what kind of theological questions would that raise? In this context, what does it really mean to be made in God’s image? See the blog post about this episode.

25 to 30 October

15: Throughout series 1 and 2 we have looked at many different areas where science and religion may seem to contradict each other, for example, creation and evolution, cosmology, the neuroscience of religious beliefs, miracles… In this episode we will be looking at something more fundamental: What is faith? What is reason? How do they relate? Are science and religion fundamentally at odds with each other?  We will also take a closer look at the rise of new atheism within scientific circles and how we can explain our faith in an increasingly rationalistic culture. In order to discuss these topics, and many more, we have invited two speakers: Father Andrew Pinsent, physicist and Catholic priest, and Professor Stephen Bullivant, Professor of Theology and the Sociology of Religion. Is there a space for faith-based claims in a rational mind? See the blog post about this episode.

1 to 6 November

16: Natural Evil In this episode, the last episode of this series, we invited two speakers: Dr Vinoth Ramachandra, theologian, author and speaker, with a doctorate in nuclear engineering, and Professor Daniela De Angelis, a statistical scientist working in public health to talk about Natural Evil. We learned what is the difference between natural and moral evil, what the ‘problem of evil’ is, creating versus permitting evil and how we are to understand the plagues in the book of Exodus. Professor De Angelis also shared with us what her personal experience has been like as part of the Royal Statistical Society Task Force for COVID-19. We also had a chance to comment on an interview Stephen Fry did a few years ago that went viral and C.S. Lewis’ struggle to find consolation after the death of his wife from cancer in A Grief Observed. Why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it? See the blog post about this episode.


Spring/Summer 2021 Series

Its first series of seven programmes will be broadcast from 17 July to 4 September 2021, on Saturdays at 13:30 and Thursdays at 16:00. For more information about this series, see the blog post.

17 and 22 July

1: Cosmology – From Alpha to Omega Paul Shellard (University of Cambridge), Fr Robert Verrill (OP) and Paolo Beltrame (SJ) [see blog post]

24 and 29 July

2: Creation or Evolutio – Do we have to choose? Dr Denis Alexander (University of Cambridge), Fr Nicanor Austriaco (USA) and Fr Robert Verrill (OP) [see blog post]

31 July and 5 August

3: Modifying our genes – Is it playing God? Professor Keith Fox (University of Southampton and Director of Faraday Institute), Hilary Yancey (Bailor University, Texas, USA) and Fr Robert Verrill (OP) [see blog post]

7 and 12 August

4: Miracles and Divine Action Dr Alessandro Di Francicis (Lourdes), Michael Dodds (California) and Daniel Bonevac (Texas) [see blog post]

14 and 19 August

5: Neuroscience, free will and faith Alasdair Coles (Neuroscientist, Addenbrooke's Hospital) and Dr Sarah Lane Ritchie (University of Edinburgh) [see blog post]

21 and 26 August

6: Bioethics, embryos and stem cells Michael Wee (Bioethics) and Paul Fairchild (University of Oxford) [see blog post]

28 August and 2 September

7: Resurrection Professor Sir Colin Humphreys (QMUL, London) and Professor Peter Wadhams (Scientific Commission for the Holy Shroud, Diocese of Turin and Emeritus Professor, University of Cambridge) [see blog post]

4 September

8: Embryonic cells in research and medicine – Is the Church against progress? Professor Paul Fairchild, a stem cell scientist, and Professor of Immunology in Oxford, and Michael Wee, a Catholic bioethicist [see blog post]

(The series was first broadcast from 14 February to 9 April 2021.)


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