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Life after SCIO: alumna studying for a PhD at Princeton

We are very pleased that our alumna Abigail M. Sargent is studying for a PhD in Medieval History at Princeton.

Having grown up in East Barre, Vermont, Abigail studied history at Gordon College. She graduated in 2009 and then completed a MA in Medieval Studies at Fordham University. She explains that her time in Oxford with SCIO inspired her current PhD studies:

My year at Oxford with SCIO in 2011-12 had helped cement the Middle Ages as my particular corner of history; I still remember the sudden immediacy of the Anglo-Saxon period when I sat in my tutor’s office as he explained how I could walk out his door and follow the course of the medieval town wall.’

Besides encouraging her academic discipline, the spiritual side of scholarship that SCIO offers also helped her:

SCIO also helped shape my vision of what faithful scholarship could look like, in all senses of the term, and in settings beyond the Christian liberal arts college. Right now I’m living one version of that life as I work on my PhD at Princeton. At the moment I’m in Europe doing archival research for my dissertation. I spend my days sifting through abbreviated French and Latin documents, trying to detect when and how people in fourteenth-century rural communities acted as groups to fulfil external demands and to resist external pressures on what they saw as their rights and privileges.

Her future ambition is to teach medieval history, with a particular focus on ‘ordinary’ people’s lives, which she considers important to both our professional and private lives.

Congratulations to SCIO’s fall 2018 prize winners

SCIO is pleased to announce the fall 2018 de Jager and SCIO alumni prize winners.

The de Jager prize for the British culture and undergraduate research seminar is awarded in recognition of outstanding scholarly work submitted by each awardee during the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford in the British culture and undergraduate research seminar courses. Awarded at the close of each term, the de Jager prize is facilitated by Geoffrey and Caroline de Jager, whose generous gift to each prize winner is reflective of their longstanding commitment to academic excellence.

The SCIO alumni prize, awarded for the first time in Michaelmas Term 2018, is funded from contributions from SCIO alumni of programmes over the past 15 years. The prize is awarded to one student each term or programme for overall outstanding academic performance.

The prize winners for Michaelmas Term 2018, along with their sending institutions, are named below.

Two students reflect on their time on the programme:
At Oxford, I was able to establish myself as an independent thinker within my discipline. Because all learning was accomplished through self-propelled research and writing, I was enabled to approach my education with unprecedented depth, as opposed to the broad survey-based approach undertaken by most American universities. The tutorials, though demanding and somewhat intimidating, end up feeling like a conversational dance between the tutor and tutee as they attempt to locate and grasp truth and value. If you are on the fence about applying for the SSO program, I encourage you to take the plunge. It will be the most academically challenging four months of your collegiate career, but you will seldom feel more accomplished than when you send in that final seminar essay.

David Kraus

What a delightful and strenuous adventure it was in [...]

By |March 27th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

SCIO hosts North American colloquium for Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities

Over the weekend of 15–17 February 2019, SCIO hosted The North American Colloquium in St Petersburg, Florida. This was an event of the Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities project funded by the Templeton Religion Trust and the Blankemeyer Foundation.

The colloquium brought together 32 faculty members and over 40 of their senior academic officers, campus ministers, and student development officers from 20 institutions to discuss strategies for impacting science and religion dialogues on their campuses. Through plenary talks, panel sessions, workshops, and breakouts groups, participants explored how they could partner together to maximize the long-term, sustainable impact of science and religion discussions among students, faculty, and administrators on campus.

Highlights of the weekend included plenary talks given by Dr April Maskiewicz Cordero (Point Loma Nazarene University) and Dr Jonathan Hill (Calvin College), a video lecture by Professor Alister McGrath (University of Oxford), and a performance by Andrew Harrison of the one-man play, Mr. Darwin’s Tree (written and directed by Murray Watts). The group was also led in worship on Sunday morning by Dr Bill Van Groningen (Trinity Christian College) and Dr Todd Pickett (Biola University). For details about the talks and sessions, please see the colloquium schedule.

By |March 20th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Congratulations to SCIO’s summer 2018 de Jager prizewinners

SCIO is pleased to announce the Oxford Summer Programme 2018 de Jager prizewinners.

The de Jager prize is awarded in recognition of written work, submitted by each awardee during the Oxford Summer Programme, which is judged to be outstanding. Presented by SCIO at the close of each term, the award is facilitated by Geoffrey and Caroline de Jager, whose generous gift to each awardee reflects their enduring commitment to academic excellence.

The prizewinners for OSP 2018, along with their sending institutions, are named below.

The students reflect on their time with SCIO:
To study in Oxford is to be saturated by an enriching environment that exudes the magic of learning. The atmosphere offers limitless encouragement to those seeking the pursuit of knowledge just for knowledge’s sake. In fact, there is no need to justify the habit of reading and writing for seven to nine hours a day; instead these activities are entrenched in the previous works of enduring authors, such as Oscar Wilde, Albert Einstein, and C.S. Lewis. Therefore, by exploring the various colleges of Merton, where J.R.R. Tolkien taught, or Lady Margaret Hall, where Malala Yousafzi currently studies, one feels a sense of inspiration and achievement. These and countless others are the giants whose past inventions propel future ideas and provide inspiration.

Anneliese Hardman
What was my favorite part of the Oxford Summer Programme? Quite honestly, all of it. The adventure of living another culture as a student rather than as a tourist, the breathtaking weight of history exuding from every stone of Oxford’s awe-inspiring buildings, the reverent awe of worshipping in ancient cathedrals, the thrill of having access to the world-class Bodleian libraries, the empowering satisfaction of completing a daunting research paper, the exhilaration of discussing [...]

By |August 23rd, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Congratulations to SCIO’s spring 2018 de Jager prizewinners

SCIO is pleased to announce the spring 2018 de Jager prizewinners.

The de Jager prize is awarded in recognition of outstanding scholarly work, submitted by each awardee during the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford. Awarded at the close of each term, the de Jager prize is facilitated by Geoffrey and Caroline de Jager, whose generous gift to each prize winner is reflective of their long-standing commitment to academic excellence.

The prizewinners for Hilary Term 2018, along with their sending institutions, are named below.

Two students reflect on their time on the programme:
I arrived in Oxford with a hunger to give my ideas, which covered various disciplines (and which did not, as far as I was aware, fit into rigid academic categories), a tangible form. My experience at SCIO and the guidance of my tutors allowed me to expand, sharpen, and focus these ideas and to find new academic contexts and discussions in which to express that about which I cared so much. I now have confidence to apply for doctoral programmes and to carry out studies based on what I wrote with SCIO.  It was incredible to be part of a group where individual visions were nurtured and supported by the fellowship. At Oxford, these ideas grew in both formal and informal settings. Being in a city full of such vibrancy and places of culture and community, discussions spontaneously occurred, accompanied by short walks to local restaurants and pubs. I’ll never forget the excitement and adventurous delight of being at the heart of Oxford surrounded by passionate characters eager to engage with the deeper questions of life and truth.

Nathalia Bell

The Oxford tutorial system has a bipartite attraction: first, it allows the student to research a specific topic that is [...]

By |August 2nd, 2018|News, Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Congratulations to SCIO’s fall 2017 de Jager prizewinners

SCIO is pleased to announce the fall 2017 de Jager prizewinners.

Awarded at the close of each term, the de Jager prizes recognize outstanding scholarly work submitted by each awardee during the Scholars’ Semester in Oxford.  The de Jager prize is facilitated by Geoffrey and Caroline de Jager, whose generous gift to each prizewinner is symptomatic of their abiding commitment to academic excellence.

The prizewinners for Michaelmas Term 2017, along with their sending institutions, are named below.

Two students reflect on their time on the programme:
One of the best things about the Oxford tutorial system is the complete freedom to pursue things that interest you. While I love English literature, I like combining it with other disciplines such as psychology, history, and gender and sexuality studies. This was something I was able to do within the parameters of my tutorials, and to a greater extent through the seminar paper I wrote at the end of term. My tutors did a great job of allowing me to pursue interesting lines of research while also suggesting further resources and ways to better both my actual essays and my base of knowledge in the area I was studying. As well as gaining knowledge in my subject, I’ve become a better researcher and a better writer.

Katie Steininger

I believe it is no exaggeration to say that, in becoming part of Oxford for a term, Oxford somehow became a small part of me. The libraries and city streets were spaces that cultivated an atmosphere brimming and shining with life and learning, an instant of existence within which my dear friends and I found ourselves challenged, inspired, and enlarged. My ability and confidence as a scholar, in all the fullness of that idea, [...]

By |April 27th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

SCIO STEM student reflects on his time at Oxford

SCIO is excited to be including STEM subjects formally in its programme from 2018 on. In previous years it has in some instances been possible to arrange STEM tutorials on a case-by-case basis.  In an interview for SCIO, one alumnus, Luke Arend, reflects on his time at Oxford, where he took STEM tutorials in philosophy of psychology and neuroscience/philosophy of science, and quantum mechanics. Luke now works as a neuroscience researcher at MIT’s Center for Brains, Minds and Machines, and in his interview, he explains how his time at SCIO prepared him for a research career and the significant impact it had on him as a young academic and scientist:
 My STEM coursework changed the way I do physics: I’ve since viewed quantitative problem-solving not as mere number-crunching, but as argument-building – granted, using mathematics rather than written language. As a double major in physics and philosophy, my time at Oxford helped me realize that both disciplines rely on similar methods of critical thinking and argumentation.
Read more about SCIO’s opportunities in STEM and the full interview with Luke here.

By |March 19th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Group selected for SCIO Science and Religion project

SCIO has selected the 24 participants for the Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities II project.

The group of participants comes from a range of universities around the world, including institutions in Canada, India, Kenya, Mexico, the United States, and Uruguay.

Funded by the Templeton Religion Trust and the Blankemeyer Foundation, project seminars will take place in Oxford, England, in the summers of 2018 and 2019. The program fosters in participants the interdisciplinary skills and understanding central to the study of science and religion.

In addition to attending the summer seminars with lectures from eminent scholars in the field, participants will work on an original research project in science and religion intended for major publication. Funds are provided for a research assistant to help the participant’s research project and establish (or bolster) a science and religion student club at the home institution.

Additionally, a weekend colloquium held in North America in February 2019 will give participants an opportunity to join with their chief academic officers, student development officers, and chaplains for discussion on issues connected to science and religion, while a roundtable with presidents from participating institutions will be held in the summer of 2019 at Oxford.

Helped by 10 specialist reviewers, the selection committee comprised:

Alister McGrath, Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion, and director of the Ian Ramsey Centre, University of Oxford; academic director of Bridging the Two Cultures
Stanley Rosenberg, executive director of SCIO, including the BestSemester Scholars’ Semester and Oxford Summer Programme, and faculty member of Wycliffe Hall and the Theology and Religion Faculty, University of Oxford; project director of Bridging the Two Cultures
Michael Burdett, research fellow in religion, science, and technology at SCIO and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford; project co-director [...]

By |March 9th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Special announcement: SCIO is now offering STEM studies

SCIO is excited to announce that it is expanding its disciplinary offering to its Registered Visiting Students to include many STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) drawing on the high calibre teaching and research of the University of Oxford.
“An academic organisation that endeavours to contribute to discussions of scholarship and Christianity should strive to touch on as many core disciplines as it reasonably can. For some years I have hoped we might begin offering STEM subjects, both out of our long-standing commitment to science and religion, and affirming that STEM subjects in themselves are worthy and important, and we wish to extend the great opportunities of Oxford to students advancing in those fields. These subjects are not peripheral: they are central to SCIO’s mission.”
Dr Stan Rosenberg, Executive Director, SCIO
Applications are managed through our BestSemester website: apply now!

As part of its Scholars’ Semester in Oxford (SSO) programme, from autumn 2018 SCIO will offer courses in the following areas:

Biological sciences (e.g. animal behaviour, ecology, disease, and cells and genes)
Chemistry (e.g. electrochemistry, quantum mechanics and spectroscopy, and soft condensed matter)
Mathematics (e.g. multivariate calculus and mathematical models, number theory, and logic and set theory)
Statistics (e.g. metric spaces and complex analysis, statistical machine learning, and applied probability)
Physics (e.g. classical mechanics and special relativity, quantum physics, and plasma physics)
Theoretical computer science (e.g. intelligent systems, machine learning, and computational game theory)
Earth sciences (e.g. palaeobiology, volcanology, and planetary chemistry)

Find out more about studying STEM with SCIO.

SCIO has since 2002 been offering a Science and religion seminar as part of its Oxford Summer Programme (OSP), and will be looking forward to running this again in 2018 [...]

SCIO co-sponsors lecture on ‘Environmental issues as a new framework for Christian dialogue’

SCIO is pleased to co-sponsor a public lecture by Dr Lluís Oviedo Torró of the Pontifical University Antonianum of Rome titled ‘Environmental issues as a new framework for Christian dialogue’. Lluís Oviedo Torró’s particular interests focus on the relationship between Christian and scientific anthropologies and on empirical approaches to religion and theology. At present he is conducting research trying to incorporate cognitive insights into theological and biblical hermeneutics.  His interests point in two fundamental but clearly linked directions: the conditions of religious survival in advanced societies; and the theological impact of the scientific study of religion and the human person.

The lecture takes place on Friday 16 February at 4pm at The House of St Gregory and St Macrina, 1 Canterbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6LU. Entry is free and no booking is required. Further details can be found on the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion website.

By |February 15th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments|