The Big Bang and the interfaces of knowledge

15 July, 2014

CERN, Big Bang, faith, science, religion,

In partnership with CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research and with support from the Sir Halley Stewart Trust, Wilton Park conducted ‘The Big Bang and the interfaces of knowledge: towards a common understanding of Truth?’. A sequel to our pioneering international conference ‘The Big Bang and the Interfaces of Knowledge: towards a common language?’ in 2012 that gained global attention.

The Big Bang and the interfaces of knowledge: towards a common understanding of Truth?

Monday 23 June – Wednesday 25 June 2014 (WP1316)

Last month, we led The Big Bang and the interfaces of knowledge: towards a common understanding of Truth? which gathered a select range of expert participants from both science and religious disciplines in an intellectual forum that took place less than 30minutes from CERN, Geneva. This event continued our series on The Big Bang and the interfaces of knowledge by following on from one of the key themes that emerged from the first session in 2012 – the nature and understanding of “truth”.

Cornel du Toit, Stuart Clark and Andrew Briggs having an informal discussion at the meeting

Cornel du Toit, Stuart Clark and Andrew Briggs having an informal discussion at the meeting

The report of our widely acknowledged conference in 2012 concluded “…although it is possible to access a measure of common language this conference has shown that words like truth, proof and faith have divergent meanings in different disciplines. Nonetheless all participants seem to have a common passion for rationality and awe along with a sense that as a human family we need to address our common problems.”

Therefore the purpose of this second conference was to widen the spectrum of scientists, theologians and philosophers involved and to deepen the dialogue towards a common understanding of truth. The interfaces of language are complex and subtle and theologians, philosophers and scientists all need to work hard to firstly understand what other disciplines are saying in their own terms.

Carl Feit, Gerald Schroeder, Jean-Francois Mayer and Rebecca Bouveng

Carl Feit, Gerald Schroeder, Jean-Francois Mayer and Rebecca Bouveng discussing the proceedings during an informal break

Our Big Bang series was inspired by the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle two years ago by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. On both occasions we assembled agnostics, atheists, believers, philosophers, scientists and theologians together to explore whether we can create a common language with which to discuss the genesis of the world.

Related conferences

The Big Bang and the interfaces of knowledge: towards a common understanding of Truth?

The Big Bang and the interfaces of knowledge: towards a common language

BBC news article

Big Bang and religion mixed in Cern debate

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