Development & Alumni Relations Office 


25 September 2018

The next in the Queen's Global Challenges Debates Series, where world-leading experts discuss some of the greatest challenges facing us today, will take place on Thursday 25 October (5pm) in The Graduate School.

Entitled ‘Is war between science and religion inevitable?’ the speakers will be Professor David Livingstone (Queen's) and Professor John Hedley Brooke (Oxford).

Speaking about the debate series Professor Richard English, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Internationalisation and Engagement, said: “The Queen’s University Belfast Global Challenges Debates bring together some of the world’s leading academic thinkers, to discuss innovative ideas about major global phenomena.

“They provide an opportunity for students, staff and the wider public to engage with exciting research, and to reflect together on some of the world’s most pressing challenges in the twenty-first century.”

Previous debates in the series have discussed Human Rights in an Age of Trump and Brexit (February 2018) and Feeding 9 billion: The ultimate global challenge (September 2017).

Albert Einstein is credited with saying: “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind” but can the two live side by side or is conflict unavoidable?

In the seventeenth century the Church condemned Galileo for teaching that the earth revolved around the sun. In the twenty-first century Creationists and Darwinians attack each other in the courtroom over the teaching of evolution in schools. It’s no wonder, therefore, that the idea of a perpetual warfare between science and religion has gripped the popular imagination.

The idea of perpetual warfare between science and religion has gripped popular imagination. Two leading scholars take up this issue and ask: Is war between science and religion inevitable? Or are there other ways of thinking about the whole issue?

Professor David N Livingstone OBE, DLitt, FBA, MRIA, is Professor of Geography and Intellectual History at Queen’s and a Fellow of the British Academy.

Author of a number of books including The Geographical Tradition, Putting Science in its Place, Adam’s Ancestors and Dealing with Darwin, Professor Livingstone was awarded an OBE in 2002, the Gold Medal of the Royal Irish Academy, the Founder’s Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, and an Honorary DLitt from the University of Aberdeen.

Professor Livingstone delivered the Gifford lectures in 2014 and the Dudleian Lecture at Harvard in 2015.

Professor John Hedley Brooke, MA PhD (Cambridge), MA (Oxford), HonFISSR, was the first Idreos Professor of Science & Religion at Oxford University (1999-2006). He has published extensively on history of chemistry, Victorian science and the historiography of natural theology.

In 2014 his Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives was republished by CUP as a Canto Classic.

The Graduate School at Queen’s connects postgraduate students across all disciplines at the University to each other and to mentors, leaders and employers within the University and beyond. The School supports postgraduates to become ‘what’s next’ thinkers, communicators, innovators and leaders who are ‘future ready’.

Doors in The Graduate School at Queen’s University Belfast will open at 4.30pm with the debate taking place from 5pm – 6.30pm. Seats will be issued on a ‘first come’ basis and no registration is required. Refreshments will be served after the debate.

Media inquiries to Zara McBrearty at Queen's Communications Office, tel: +44 (0)28 9097 3259.


Back to Main News









Top of Page