As we struggle with Covid-19 and the injustices it has amplified, we have an opportunity to bring both biology and theology to bear in our service of God and neighbour.
Biology has both shaped and been shaped by profoundly unjust social biases. And yet, the science of human diversity remains key to understanding both health and happiness.
The popular concept of race does not fit with contemporary biology (biological “race” as a population structure is not present in humans), but genetic diversity can tell us a great deal. It can help us understand disease and susceptibility as well as the history of human migrations.
Biology, Race, and Public Theology brings together bishops and senior church leaders from around the world to share their experiences, hear from experts, and think creatively about how we address race and justice, aware of the past, informed by the best of current thinking, and hopeful for the future.
The past: The origins of “race science” and its entanglement with biology
Award-winning British science journalist Angela Saini will discuss her latest book, Superior: The Return of Race Science, which was named a book of the year by The Telegraph, Nature and Financial Times. Ms Saini presents science programmes on the BBC, and her writing has appeared in New Scientist, The Sunday Times, National Geographic and Wired.
The present: Population genetics and human diversity
Prof Carlos Bustamante teaches population genetics at Stanford and is the Founding Director of the Stanford Center for Computational, Evolutionary, and Human Genomics. He is an internationally recognised leader in the application of data science and genomics technology to problems in medicine, agriculture and biology. He advises the US federal government as well as private companies and non-profits on medical, veterinary, and agricultural genetics and genomics.
The future: Current issues for the UK and hopes for the future
Political scientist and theologian Dr R. David Muir is Head of Whitelands College and Senior Lecturer of Public Theology & Community Engagement at the University of Roehampton. He is also the Director of Faith in Britain, a member of the Kirby Laing Institute of Christian Ethics (Cambridge), and former Executive Director for Public Policy and Public Theology for the Evangelical Alliance UK.