LSU Collegium for Science and Religion and the Science and Religion Student Dialogue (SRSD)
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The LSU Collegium for Science and Religion was formed in the fall of 2003 when several professors began to talk about issues in science and religion. The Collegium includes more than 160 faculty, staff, student, and community members and hosts open lectures at LSU. The LSI project complements, expands, and extends the conversations fostered by the initial efforts. The SRSD is a new part of that effort to stimulate student exchange through small discussion groups, large group meetings, forums, field trips, and public lectures to inquire into multiple facets of the sciences from a variety of religious perspectives. Some of the topical material envisioned includes subjects in the philosophical perspectives of mind, body and faith, scientific reconsideration of the central dogma of evolution, science as a generator of moral and religious questions, spiritual transformation in youth, and AI and ethics. The effort also aims to “build a coterie of students who passionately pursue knowledge and who hope to apply their understanding of future research, writing, and collaboration with others.” The Collegium supports the continuation ongoing faculty efforts, while the SRSD focuses on one theme each year in topics such as classic science and religion dialogue; physics, the ‘hard sciences’ and evolutionary genesis; and neuroscience and belief. Additionally, the Student Forum hosts panel discussions and supports collaborative research projects with faculty members. Matching funds are provided by the department of philosophy and religious studies and the School of Coast and Environment of Louisiana State University. Additional funding will be sought through proposal generation, private donors, and continuing outreach efforts.