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Belief in Dialogue: Science, Culture and Modernity Conference

Conference Announcement and Call for Papers

21 -23 June 2011
American University of Sharjah, UAE

The Belief in Dialogue: Science, Culture and Modernity Conference, is being jointly organised by the British Council, in partnership with the American University of Sharjah and in association with the International Society for Science and Religion. The conference forms part of the British Council’s global Belief in Dialogue programme.

A list of plenary speakers includes Andrew Briggs, John Hedley Brooke; Philip Clayton; Paul Davies; William Grassie; Nidhal Guessoum; Salman Hameed; Aref Nayed; Zia Sardar; Jean Staune; Mehdi Golshani; Munawar Anees; and Ronald Numbers.

In addition to plenary lectures and discussions, parallel sessions will be devoted to the exploration of three broad themes running through the conference.  These are:

  • Science and Religion: Two Cultures?
  • Cultures of Belief in Modern Societies
  • Ethical Values and Human Responsibility

The latter theme will explore ethical issues in relation to environmental issues, to questions of sustainability and to problems arising from new technologies – including such controversial matters as stem-cell research.

A further stream within the conference will comprise a series of seminars specially designed for 50 selected international student/young researcher participants.

An open invitation extends to all who may wish to propose a paper on one of the three themes identified above. Proposals for papers with a historical, sociological or philosophical orientation will be welcome, as will those addressing issues arising from contemporary science. Proposals will be evaluated by the programme committee and, if successful, will be placed in the most appropriate of the parallel sessions.

All presentations are restricted to a maximum of 20 minutes, with ten minutes for audience questions and answers.

Submissions, which must be received by 20 March 2011 at the latest, should take the form of a 200-word biographical statement, a 200-word abstract of the proposed paper, and a summary, in not more than 500 words, of the content and argument of the paper.  Notification of the decisions of the programme committee will be given as quickly as possible.

Proposals are to be submitted to Tracey McCluskey at the Cambridge Office of the ISSR: tmm34@cam.ac.uk, with a copy to the programme co-ordinator, Dr Amy Unsworth:aeu21@cam.ac.uk
Queries concerning the practical arrangements for the conference should be addressed to Emma Baker at the British Council: emma.baker@britishcouncil.org.

Further information, including details of the registration fee and accommodation booking, will be announced shortly.

For those whose papers are accepted, there will be the opportunity to apply for bursary to reduce the costs of registration and accommodation may be available to assist young researchers and those who can receive no financial help from their institutions. The cost of travel will in most cases have to be met by delegates; but bursaries may be available to subsidise the cost for young researchers and those who can receive no financial help from their institutions. Assistance will be available for the procurement of a visa where this is required.

Members of the organisation committee:

Dr Fern Elsdon-Baker British Council
Dr Amy Unsworth, British Council and Faraday Institute
Dr Pia-Kristina Anderson, University of Sharjah
Prof. Nidhal Guessoum, University of Sharjah
Dr Imed Nsiri, University of Sharjah
Prof. John Hedley Brooke, President ISSR
Prof. William Grassie, Metanexus Institute
Dr. Munawar Anees, President KnowSys

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