Professor Mark Harris elected as President of the European Society for the Study of Science and Theology

The School of Divinity is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Mark Harris as President of the European Society for the Study of Science and Theology (ESSAT).

Colour head and shoulders picture of Mark Harris

Professor Mark Harris, Professor of Natural Science and Theology at the School of Divinity, has been elected as President of ESSSAT by the Society's General Assembly at its recent conference in Aalesund, Norway, in May 2022.

As part of his role as president, Mark will be involved in a variety of tasks running the organisation, especially chairing the ESSSAT Council and the General Assembly, and collaborating with the organisation of their conferences, publications and deciding on conference themes.

Professor Harris will be working alongside his fellow School of Divinity colleague Dr Michael Fuller, who serves as Vice-President for Publications, on the ESSSAT council.

I am delighted to be elected as President of ESSSAT, one of the longest-running and most distinguished societies in our field. This is a very great honour, and I am humbled to follow in the footsteps of some of the most illustrious figures in science and theology who have served as President before me.

Professor Mark Harris

European Society for the Study of Science and Theology

The European Society for the Study of Science and Theology stands as one of the main international scholarly societies for Science and Religion. ESSSAT is a scholarly, non-confessional organization, based in Europe, which aims to promote the study of relationships between the natural sciences and theological views. ESSSAT has members from almost every European country as well as members from other continents. They have diverse confessional backgrounds, and may include believers as well as non-believers and atheists. As scientists, theologians, philosophers and historians they work on a better understanding of the interactions between two of the most powerful human pursuits, namely religion and science.

ESSSAT website

Professor Mark Harris

A theologian of science, interested in the complex ways that the natural sciences and religious beliefs relate to each other, Professor Harris has been active in physics for many years. he's known (with Steve Bramwell of University College London) as the discoverer of 'spin ice', currently a major research area in the physics of magnetism. By the end of 2020, more than 6,000 journal articles had been published on the topic since their original discovery in 1997. But a little after this breakthrough, Mark also discovered theology, and began to broaden his interests beyond magnetism. After ordination as an Anglican priest, and spells in university chaplaincy at Oxford, and cathedral ministry in Edinburgh, he now combines his academic interests in physics and theology through the Science and Religion programme at Edinburgh, which includes both MSc and PhD degrees.

Professor Mark Harris' Staff Profile