[SydPhil] ABC Big Ideas Panel Discussion: Critical Reflections on Science and Religion

Anik Waldow anik.waldow at sydney.edu.au
Fri Feb 16 12:04:14 AEDT 2024

Where is the Soul in Science? Critical Reflections on Science and Religion
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 • 05:00PM - 07:30PM
Nelson Mears Auditorium, Chau Chak Wing Museum


Science in the West did not emerge fully-formed like Athena from the head of Zeus: theoretical frameworks, methodologies and belief systems have been tested and contested, proven, disproven and abandoned. Yet since the 17th century science has profoundly recast our relationship to the world and ourselves. Science began to provide a logical, systemic framework with which to understand not only the world, but knowledge and values, shifting the axis away from a divinely ordained order bestowed by divine beings and religious authorities to one in which rational scientific thought, agency and objectivity began to hold sway.

Science today reminds us of our own agency in the building of new knowledge. But can it provide meaningful orientation in key aspects of human life? Traditionally, religion provided community, connection, certainty, salvation, and a strong cultural and moral framework in the face of chaos. Is science able to address these fundamental human needs? In recent years populism, politics and the pandemic – together with the rise of disinformation and ‘fake news’ made possible by unregulated social media – have decentred the trust in science, with conspiracy theories on the rise in the attempt to find answers and orientation in life

What has science failed to deliver? Where is the soul in science?


Anik Waldow (Sydney), Charles Wolfe (Toulouse), Peter Harrison (UQ)

Hosted by Natasha Mitchell, ABC Big Ideas


The School of Humanities Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, soh.events at sydney.edu.au<mailto:soh.events at sydney.edu.au>

ANIK WALDOW | Professor of Philosophy | FAHA
Department of Philosophy | School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
S404, Quadrangle Building A14 | The University of Sydney | NSW | 2006 | Australia
T +61 2 9114 1245<tel:+61291141245> | F +61 2 9351 3918<tel:+61293513918>
E anik.waldow at sydney.edu.au<mailto:anik.waldow at sydney.edu.au>

Experience Embodied: Early Modern Accounts of the Human Place in Nature, OUP, 2020

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