The engagement of science with religion has a history stretching back as long as science itself. The exact form that such engagement takes is shaped by a combination of factors inherent to the particular areas of scientific and religious activity involved, as well as by the prevailing historical and cultural contexts. Hong Kong is unusual in that academic scientists are more open religious ideas than the general population.

Despite this, the political, religious and scientific history of the region means that engagement between science and religion in the academy is relatively in its infancy, compared to places like Europe and North America.

Mike Brownnutt (KEDS student from 2011-2014) has been involved in starting up the Faith and Science Collaborative Research Forum, to develop and enrich the interactions between religion and science/engineering research in Hong Kong. Based at the University of Hong Kong, it supports and equips academics in science, engineering, theology and philosophy across Hong Kong to fruitfully connect scientific research with religious thought.

Mike has long had an interest in the relationship between science and religion. He obtained an MA in theology from the King’s Evangelical Divinity School, with his master’s thesis considering how “faith” is understood in discourses on the relationship between Christianity and science. He also has a master’s degree (MSci in physics) and a PhD (in experimental quantum mechanics) from Imperial College London. He spent eight years in Innsbruck, Austria, firstly as a post-doctoral researcher and later as an Assistant Professor, developing scalable architectures for quantum computers. He has now moved to Hong Kong as Associate Director of the Faith and Science Collaborative Research Forum.