Sad news emerged last week about Tom McLeish, professor of natural philosophy at the University of York and longstanding associate of Thinking Faith Network. Tom passed away on 27 February aged 60, leaving an amazing legacy of scholarship in understanding the physics of soft matter and of proteins in living cells – work recognised in his election to the Royal Society in 2008. Tom McLeish is also widely noted for his work on the history of science, especially the roots he traces through ancient wisdom literature (particularly the book of Job) and medieval Christian scholarship (particularly the writings of Robert Grosseteste). And perhaps most notably of all, he was one of the foremost communicators of a Christian vision of scientific work – what Tom called a theology of science. Not for him the tired old category of “science and religion”!

Tom spoke at the FiSch leaders’ conference in 2015, inspiring a select gathering with talks on research and wisdom. He also spoke for TFN at a LifeMatters event about science in 2017 (and chaired an event many years earlier before I knew about TFN).

I’ve written a short testimony to Tom’s work and legacy for our sister project Church Scientific. Another one well worth reading is this one by his former colleague at Durham, David Wilkinson.

Richard Gunton
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Categories: Faith-in-Scholarship

Richard Gunton

Richard is the Director of Faith-in-Scholarship at Thinking Faith Network. He also teaches statistics at the University of Winchester. His current passions include Reformational philosophy, history of sciences, ordination (the statistical sort), and wildlife gardening. He worships, and occasionally preaches, at St Mary's Church in Portchester. [Views expressed here are his own.]