Natasha is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity. She has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and is the author of Victorian Poetry and Modern Life: The Unpoetical Age, as well as editor of 10 Tips for Atheists … and other conversations in faith and culture. She has worked for CPX since 2014 and written for the mainstream media on topics that include books, movies, politics, food, domestic violence, Scripture in schools, war, Thanksgiving, evolutionary psychology, and freedom of speech.
Description: When Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, he could expect to be read and understood by any member of the educated public. Since then, ever-accelerating professionalisation and specialisation have made the gap between the layperson and the scientist near unbridgeable.
This shift is inevitable, but also problematic. Its effects include widespread scientism – a profound faith in the powers of science to answer any question and solve any problem we might have – as well as its mirror image, a deep-seated suspicion of scientific consensus, on display in such trends as the rise of anti-vaccination movements.
What might the Christian scientist in particular have to offer both within her discipline and to those outside of it? What makes a good model for engaging with a, by turns, adulatory and sceptical public? In an age of fake news, fashionable science, and a polarised public square, a non-scientist offers some suggestions for navigating our cultural moment in terms of truth, trust, persuasion, wonder, and humility.