Since 2002, hundreds of professors at Harvard, MIT, Yale, Brown and surrounding universities have engaged in The Faculty Roundtable dinner-discussions, experiencing the potential to bring added depth to their lives as scholars and educators. The Faculty Roundtable in New York City was launched in Spring 2018 with presentations given by MIT's Ian Hutchinson and Brown's Ken Miller.
Roundtables are dedicated to fostering dialogue that explores the intersection of current academic thought with ethics, worldview, research and every shade of religious and nonreligious thought on issues related to science and religion. Select community leaders are invited to ensure a diversity of viewpoints.
The event includes dinner, wine, dessert and discussion after brief remarks from our presenters. At the close of our evening, we include time for questions and comments directed to each other and to our presenters.
However, due to our current reality, Roundtables will be virtual until it is safe to meet in-person again. One positive aspect of going virtual is the opportunity to engage in discussions with faculty at some or all of our partner Roundtable sites (e.g. all 8 Ivy League schools plus MIT, U Chicago, Northwestern, Duke, and Amherst). When it is safe to do so, we hope to host in-person Faculty Roundtables once again at Faculty House at Columbia University.
The Roundtables are sponsored and funded in part by the John Templeton Foundation, a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries related to the big questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. Additional funding has been provided by generous scholars and foundations invested in the intersection of science and faith.
“The program was provocative; the evening was deeply satisfying.
This was sociability at its best.”
Professor of Philosophy
“Interesting views on Science and its 'provability' as expressed
by the presenters. I am a chemical engineer and found
the arguments fascinating.”
Professor of Engineering
“I found this 'meeting of minds over dinner' to be a remarkable
kind of discourse space.
“Unlike a straightforward lecture, which people tend to engage with primarily intellectually and often combatively, this dinner and talk allowed for a kind of fellowship and mutual respect to develop that held a space for differences of opinion to co-exist and for new friendships to form.
This sort of networking experience was very powerful!”
Professor of Religious Studies
“I thought it was great and provided a safe space to have some interesting conversations with other faculty that I certainly would have
never had otherwise.”
Professor of Applied Mathematics
"I really, really enjoyed the talk and the research. I also enjoyed the post-lecture discussion. It’s a privilege to join the roundtable because this is one of only a handful of venues where non-religious and religious believers can have well-considered and reasoned discussion without getting defensive or offensive. I find these discussions very rewarding."
Professor of Law
"This activity is very helpful to build a collaborative and open-minded teaching and research community."
Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures
"I appreciated the serious, complex, nuanced approach to the issues."
Professor of Anthropology
"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."
Professor of Computer Science