The Cambridge Roundtable on Science and Religion


Upcoming Events


Cambridge area professors are the majority of our guests at each Cambridge Faculty Roundtable, experiencing an exchange with the potential to bring added depth to their lives as scholars and as educators. Evenings are sponsored by chairpersons dedicated to fostering dialogue that explores the intersection of science, faith, and philosophy. Select community leaders are invited to ensure a diversity of points of view.

Our evenings are made possible thanks to funding from contributors to The Leadership Connection, generous local scholars, Cornerstone Commissioning, The John Templeton Foundation, and with thanks to Memorial Church of Harvard University.

The Roundtable is co-chaired by:

Anne E. C. McCants, a Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow and Professor of History at MIT, and J. Mark Ramseyer Mitsubishi Professor of Japanese Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, and David R. Thom, MIT Chaplain with The Leadership Connection. Founding Chairpersons include Owen Gingerich, Astronomy and History of Science at Harvard University, Emeritus; and Robert Randolph, Chaplain to the Institute, MIT, Retired.

Normally meeting in-person at the Harvard Faculty Club, every Faculty Roundtable begins with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, assigning six guests to each table for brief remarks from presenters, followed by dinner and discussion. After a 2018 evening, Former Dean of Harvard College and Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science Harry Lewis commented, “It was the kind of night that should be the norm in academia — serious conversation among smart people about contested issues, with pretty much everyone who spoke and counter-spoke both witty and civil.”

For Roundtable questions or comments, please reach Coordinator Dave Thom and Administrator Christina English at Though the Roundtable is by invitation only, we are more than glad to work with you to welcome colleagues.

Originating in Amherst MA amidst the Five Colleges, Faculty Roundtables have caught on at Harvard & MIT & BU, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, and Yale, seating thousands of faculty for in-person Roundtable conversations over the last 18 years. Faculty Roundtables are now open at Chicago and Northwestern, Penn, Princeton, Duke and Cornell, and the universities near-by to these several fine institutions.

Past Events

—Past Event—

What do Scientists Around the World Think about Religion and Why does it Matter?

November 12, 2020
Elaine Howard Ecklund, Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences, Professor of Sociology, and director of the Religion and Public Life Program at Rice University
—Past Event—

Lessons from Water Diplomacy in Resolving Complex Problems in Science and Religion through Principled Pragmatism

April 16, 2019
Shafik Islam, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering & Professor of Water Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University
—Past Event—

Human Progress Narratives and the Promotion of Human Flourishing

October 29, 2018
Tyler VanderWeele, John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health