It is with profound sadness that we report the death of Prof. Tom McLeish FRS who died after a short illness on Monday 27th February. As a leading contemporary writer and commentator in the science and religion field, Prof. McLeish had strong links with The Faraday Institute stretching back over many years. In particular we remember his fine Faraday Public Lecture given at his old college, Emmanuel College, Cambridge, on 9th May 2022, entitled “Science – Beauty – Theology: A Virtuous or Vicious Trinity?”.
Prof. McLeish was Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Department of Physics at the University of York, England, and was also affiliated to the University’s Centre for Medieval Studies and Humanities Research Centre. He had a remarkable gift for engaging in both interdisciplinary research and communication, reflected in his most recent book The Poetry and Music of Science (OUP 2019) and in his six-year period as a Trustee of The John Templeton Foundation, which finished only a short time ago, in June 2022.
Prof. McLeish was also a co-leader (with Revd. Prof. David Wilkinson, Durham) of the major project Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science. This work was recognised by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lanfranc Award in 2018. Prof. McLeish was also a Reader in the Anglican Church since 1995, in the dioceses of Ripon and York. From 2008 to 2014 he served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at Durham University, from 2015 to 2020 as Chair of the Royal Society’s Education Committee, and he was also on the Council of the Royal Society.
Our thoughts and prayers are very much with the wife and family of Prof. McLeish, and as an Institute we wish to highlight the enormous respect that we have for his invaluable contributions to the field of science and religion.