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2008 Robinson Lecture

The ninth Robinson Lecture will be held on Thursday 20th November 2008 in The Armagh City Hotel, 2 Friary Road, Armagh.

The Lecture will be delivered by Professor Peter W.J.L. Brand FRSE, of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh. The lecture will begin at 8.00 pm and is scheduled to end at 9.00 pm, followed by light refreshments.

The title and abstract of Professor Brand's lecture are:


"Our scientific understanding of the physical Universe exposes us to great beauty and to mind-stretching ideas. In presenting the current picture I shall try to persuade you that this understanding, based on physical laws and careful observation, is secure. But we must recognize that this security is based on faith: faith that the laws of physics apply everywhere and always. This faith is tested continually and (so far) has always been justified. Its consequence is our modern technological society of planes and cars, bridges and wind turbines, TVs and the Internet.

How does the idea of faith in God fit into this scheme? I explore, from my own perspective, how physical understanding moderates the possibilities. While it is of the essence that God cannot be known in the same sense as physical facts are, one can use science to suggest what God is not. This reduction technique is routine in science (and Sudoku) and is very productive. How far can it be taken in this case? I suggest that there is a position from which both faith systems seem simultaneously reasonable."

The Armagh Observatory Robinson Lecture is a public lecture held biennially in honour of the Founder of the Armagh Observatory, Archbishop Richard Robinson (1708 - 1794).

Attendance at the 2008 Robinson Lecture is free, but if you would like to attend the Lecture, please contact the Armagh Observatory in order to obtain tickets.

Please write, telephone or send an e-mail to: Mrs Aileen McKee, Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG; Tel: 028-3752-2928; Fax: 028-3752-7174; e-mail: ambnat signarm.ac.uk.

2008 Robinson Schools Lecture

In addition, Professor Brand is delivering the Robinson Schools Lecture in the Royal School Armagh, College Hill, Armagh, at 2.00 pm on Friday, 21st November 2008. Teachers and pupils who would like to attend should contact Mr Warren Fowles, The Royal School, College Hill Armagh. Tel.: 028-3752-2807; e-mail: sfowles830at signroyalschool.armagh.ni.sch.uk.

For more information on the Robinson Schools Lecture, see: here.


Last Revised: 2008 October 8th
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