Uses and Abuses of Biology Sub Grants Programme

Dr. Denis Alexander
Faraday Institute for Science & Religion

Project Summary

For many centuries biological theories have been utilised for non-biological purposes, a trend that shows no signs of abating. The aim of this grants program is to fund research projects, for periods up to a maximum of eighteen months, that investigate and expose the ways in which biological ideas are utilized for non-biological purposes.

Every generation has its own particular uses and abuses of biology which also vary according to culture, religion and geographical location. Of greatest interest are cases in which society, or a certain segment of society, prospers or flounders under the influence of the appropriation of biological ideas. Abuses of biology can lead to situations in which the value of either science or spiritual values, or sometimes both, are subverted. This can lead to divided societies in which individuals and organizations are constrained by limited vision and inability to cooperate. Abuses can also lead to people becoming highly resistant to scientific ideas and to new spiritual information, and can contribute to close-minded attitudes about the nature of divinity.

This Programme will lay bare a significant number of specific cases in which biological thought has been and is being applied to promote socio-political agendas and reshape core values, thus allowing those agendas and values to be re-evaluated by those who hold them and are affected by them.

Journal Publications

2012
McKaughan, D.J. & Elliott, K.C.
Science 338(6612), 1285
2014
Wiseman, H
American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 5(3), 21-30
2014
Macvarish, J., Lee, E. & Lowe, P.
Sociology Compass 8(6), 792-804

Project Details

Project Duration

1 August 201131 May 2016

Core Funding Area

Big Questions

Region of Activity

Europe

TWCF Number

0025

Amount Awarded

$3,628,760

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