Wanderings in Europe

Here’s my planned schedule for my trip to Europe, thus far – all going well. I’ve been overwhelmed by the opportunities that these conferences represent, and hope that I can make the most of them if it all works out. I’m hoping I can take some of July off from my thesis to explore, relax, and prep, but not much time is now left between conferences. Each of the talks (apart from the ICETAR potential) is a side-project spin-off of some of my PhD-thinking and vaguely related thoughts. A couple will hopefully turn into papers and thus chapters or an appendix for my thesis.

If you have suggestions on how I should spend my time, in a productive way for Jesus’ sake, let me know. I’m interested to meet people if I can find the time, to visit some museums, and could possibly speak on one or two occasions (e.g. for a CU) if useful.

It is likely to be funded by a combination of my PhD research fund, perhaps a small conference bursary, money from my supervisor (now based in the UK) for me to go and visit his new lab, and money I’ve saved from tutoring. I would probably accept¬†offers of minor financial assistance for the apologetics-related events, as I am convinced that the training received at Cambride & Oxford will develop my ministry in this area, but will see how things pan out.

16-20th June: Jena, Germany РInternational Conference on Code Biology. 
Presenting a paper on the putative optimality of the genetic code and its relationship to theories of code origin (based on work from my PGDipSci).

24-26th June: Amsterdam, the Netherlands. ICETAR (International Conference on the Evolution and Transfer of Antibiotic Resistance).
(Likely) presenting a poster on evolutionary trade-offs as they relate to antibiotic resistance – TBC. Anyone who applies can present a poster (I think), so this isn’t too special unless they accept my talk abstract – will see.

2-3 July: British Society for the Philosophy of Science annual conference. University of Manchester.
I’ll be speaking on how different concepts of biological function relate to evolutionary theory. Based on work I prepared late last year. Was rather surprised to be accepted for this talk, since I’m not a philosopher, and I’m not convinced my own thesis is defensible, at least with the arguments suggested at in the abstract. I am concerned/intrigued/confused by my ability to convince experts that I am one of them, in a short piece of text.

7-13th July: Cambridge Scholars Network
Attending a seminar series for evangelical Christian PhD students, with Christian scholars, at the University of Cambridge. To learn, network and be mentored. This is a remarkable opportunity – thank you internet for the discovery, and thank you God.

22-25th July. University of Oxford, Ian Ramsey Centre for Science & Religion. ‘Human Difference’ conference.
I’m speaking on the human genome – particularly the ENCODE project, and other molecular measures of complexity over the animal kingdom, arguing that new evidence supports the claim that biological complexity can be objectively measured and plausibly peaks in humans. I was very surprised that this talk abstract was accepted, and this one scares the crap out of me. The plenary speaker is Alister McGrath, who is possibly my favourite academic in the world. This invitation to speak is undeserved.

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While this is exciting, challenging, & scary, the most important things are still found in the ordinary everyday, in God’s extraordinary world, so I hope I can remember that.

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