Furthering the Integration of Religion, Science, and Technology (FIRST)
A recently formed organization, FIRST is dedicated to “furthering the understanding of the interplay between faith and science through development of web resources, promotion of written materials, hosting seminars, workshops, conferences, student video nights, book discussions, and community outreach to reach into the evangelical Christian community and beyond.” This group represents a joint project of the departments of natural sciences and religion to “provide a safe environment within which faculty, students, and members of the surrounding community can explore questions and broaden their understanding of both science and theology through constructive dialogue.” Combining core members representing the departments of natural and social sciences and religion, along with local clergy, the society reaches beyond its own academic community to invite faculty from surrounding colleges, high schools, other local clergy, and scientific and medical professionals to join in the conversations fostered by FIRST. Through holding widely publicized events, developing a web-based forum, founding and encouraging student-led initiatives, and conducting regular evaluations of project progress, the leaders of FIRST hope to better define and refine their work. Some of the topics to be explored include overviews of historic and contemporary issues in science, philosophy and faith; modes of engagement; quantum mechanics, postmodernism and God; and mind and spirit. Matching funds are provided by Southeastern Colleges.