Pranab Das elected to Board of International Society

Pranab Das, professor of Physics, was elected to the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR) at its annual general meeting in London this Saturday.

Aims of the ISSR

Our central aim is the facilitation of dialogue between the two academic disciplines of science and religion, one of the most important current areas of debate in terms of understanding the nature of humanity. This includes both the enhancement of the profile of the science-religion interface in the public eye, as well as the safeguarding of the quality and rigour of the debate in the more formal, academic arena.

Membership of the ISSR

While maintaining rigorous qualifications for membership (membership is through nomination by existing members only) the Society has now grown to over 140 members, including many of the leading scholars in the science and religion field. Indeed the last two presidents, George Ellis, a theoretical cosmologist and Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town, and John Polkinghorne, are both recipients of the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities – the world’s best-known religion prize, awarded each year to a living person to encourage and honour those who advance spiritual matters.

Membership of the society is truly universal: the society incorporates, and welcomes, representatives from a variety of faith traditions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam in addition to Christianity. Membership is also widely distributed geographically, with representatives from countries as diverse as South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as well as from Europe and America.

Nominations for membership of ISSR are made on the basis of four categories of achievement. These categories are as follows:

* Major contribution (e.g. books) to the field of science/religion; or
* Excellent standing in one of the relevant areas (science, religion, philosophy) together with sustained interest in or support of the science/religion debate; or
* Demonstration of significant organizational and entrepreneurial skills within the science/religion field, especially in geographical regions or religious traditions in which science-religion studies are not yet well-developed.
* Early career scholars whose publications in the science-religion field indicate outstanding promise.