Remembering Professor R.J. (Sam) Berry

Friends of Faraday will be sorry to hear that Professor R.J. (Sam) Berry died on 29th March. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Caroline and their family at this sad time. Sam had a long association with The Faraday Institute from our beginnings in 2006 and he was a keen supporter of our activities.

He was a speaker on our first Summer Course in 2006 and was a member of our Advisory Board. Sam was born in 1934 and was educated at Shrewsbury School and Caius College, Cambridge. He gained his PhD from University College London in 1976, and from 1978 until his retirement in 2000, served as Lecturer, Reader and Professor in Genetics at UCL. Sam was an eminent population geneticist, often studying island populations of mice. He had been President of the Linnaean Society, editing its journal for many years, the British Ecological Society, the European Ecological Federation and the Mammal Society.

He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.Alongside his scientific career he was a strong advocate for the role of the Christian faith in science and was a prolific writer on science and faith, from the perspective of a practising biologist, authoring or editing books that include Adam and the Ape: A Christian Approach to the Theory of Evolution (1975) Real Science, Real Faith (Editor, 1991) God and the Biologist;(Ed, 1996); God’s Book of Works; The Nature and Theology of Nature (2003). He gave the 1997-1998 Glasgow Gifford lectures on Gods, Genes, Greens and Everything. He was also Chairman of Christians in Science (1967-1988) and was its President (1993-1995).His contributions to science and faith were recognised in the1996 Templeton UK Award for his “sustained advocacy of the Christian faith in the world of science”. Since his ‘retirement’ in 2000 Sam devoted a lot of his time and energy to the Christian environmental movement in the UK.

He wrote or edited many books on Christianity and the environment including his “The Care of Creation” and his last work “Environmental Attitudes through Time” was published at the end of April 2018. Alongside his busy scientific and writing activities Sam will be missed as a friend and wise supporter. In many ways, Sam was a larger than life, with his smile and generous advice.

He will be greatly missed, though we know that he has ‘gone to a better place’ Reflection by Prof.Keith Fox

A selection of other reflections may be found below: The Times (family) obituary may be found at:

Dr Ruth Bancewiscz ” “The Myth of the Holy Hierarchy” published in Christianity Today

Sam Berry was the second editor of the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (1978-1990). As a tribute, they have produced a virtual issue of his contributions to the Journal:

A Rocha obituary: Church of England Newspaper obituary (behind a paywall):

The Church Times obituary:

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