Media Release: Kirk’s 40th anniversary conference shows science isn’t the final frontier

SINCE it was established in 1970 the Church of Scotland’s Society, Religion and Technology (SRT) Project has added a great deal to the life of the church and its capacity to comment on difficult issues in society.

Says a spokesperson: “The SRT Project celebrates its 40th anniversary this month by bringing together some of the country’s leading lights in science and religion at Edinburgh’s City Chambers.

“The SRT Project seeks to help the church in being faithful to the Jesus’ call to his followers to be the ‘salt and light’ in the world, including the arena of science and technology.

“For those 40 years, the project has engaged in a wide range of issue from genetic modification to nanotechnology through to synthetic biology to questions at the end of life.

“Among the topics being discussed at the event called ‘Helping the Church engage with ethical issues in science’ on November 20 are the recent ethical controversies surrounding the beginning and end of life with Professor John Wyatt from University College London, Dr Heather McHaffie from the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, discussing why people need plants. Other topics discussed include nanotechnology, astronomy and climate change.”

Amongst the panel members for the conference are Rev Dr Alistair Donald from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, and Dr Angeliki Kerasidou from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics.

The spokesperson added: “The Church of Scotland started the project in 1970 to help the church engage constructively with the scientific community both in Scotland and overseas. For almost 40 years, the SRT Project has been involved in informed debate with the governments of the day, industrialists, regulators, the church and public.

“In short, the Church of Scotland has something to say. The church in Scotland is made up from people with professional expertise in many fields. As the national Church, the Kirk can call on a wide range of knowledge, expertise and experience from within and be able to harness even a fraction of this strength in depth, and then apply the resulting wisdom, is of great benefit to all.

“There is a variety of views on almost any subject within the Church of Scotland. The ability to honestly engage in a dialogue with those who do not necessarily agree is a fundamental strength of scientific investigation. While this may not result in the ‘black and white’ answers that many seek, faithful honesty before each other is healthy and useful – progress on breaking down prejudice and misinformation is contingent upon informed debate and discussion.”


Notes to News Desks and Reporters:

The conference is being held at the City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh from 10am to 4pm, on November 20.

For further information please contact Karen Hunter, Administrator, Society, Religion and Technology Project, Church of Scotland, 0131 225 5722 extension 343,

Alternatively, call Nick Jury, Senior Media Relations Officer, Church of Scotland Communications Department, 0131 240 2268,


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Contact: Nick Jury
Phone: 0131 240 2268