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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

The Light Year Public Lecture Series - The Science -Theology of why Light Matters: from Medieval to Modern

18th November 2013, 18:15 to 19:15, Kingsley Barratt Room, Calman Learning Centre, Durham University, South Road, Professor Tom McLeish, FRS, Durham University


Why is there both light and matter? Wouldn’t just one do? Have both always been component of the universe, and if not which came first? Above all – the key question that unlocks the others – how do they affect each other? Both contemporary and ancient, these questions lie behind a remarkable 13th century manuscript De Luce, by Robert Grosseteste Bishop of Lincoln which has been the subject of an intense interdisciplinary project by a Durham-led team of medieval scholars and scientists working together. As well as shedding new light on ancient thought and restoring a vital link in the history of science, the project has also opened fresh scientific questions, and generated a new calculation in “computational cosmology” (and a new movie!). It gives us pause to reconsider the deep theological well-springs of science.


Professor Tom McLeish's research interests include molecular rheology and processing of entangled polymeric fluids, macromolecular biophysics and issues of theology, ethics and science and the history of science. He is also involved in science-communication with the public via regular radio, TV and schools lectures, discussing issues from the Physics of Slime to the interaction of Faith and Science. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Physical Society and Fellow of the Royal Society.

The venue for this series is the Calman Learning Centre. Directions can be located at here. Alternatively on the University map, the CLC is denoted at building number: 43.

Contact for more information about this event.

Contact for more information about this event.