Professor Mark Harris
Professor of Natural Science and Theology, University of Edinburgh
As a physicist working in a theological environment at the University of Edinburgh, I’m interested in the complex ways that science and religion relate to each other, and especially in foundational questions about the nature of reality, and the status of naturalism. Active in physics for many years, I’m known (with Steve Bramwell of University College London) as the discoverer of ‘spin ice’, a counter-intuitive model that has revolutionised research in magnetism.
Midway through my scientific career I discovered theology, a moment of awakening not unlike that provided by my first chemistry set at the age of ten! After ordination as an Anglican priest, and spells in university chaplaincy at Oxford, and cathedral ministry in Edinburgh, I now combine my academic interests in physics and theology by running the Science and Religion programme of study and research at Edinburgh.
My research interests include naturalism and the study of realism in the physical sciences and theology, and the ways in which the science has critically affected modern views of the Bible, especially in thinking on miracles and divine action. I am currently working on a book project about the ways that historical debates in geology have had a huge (but little-known) influence on the contemporary interpretation of miracle accounts.
The Nature of Creation: Examining the Bible and Science (Acumen Press, 2013; Routledge, 2014).