Posted on 10 April 2018
On the 6 April, Lambeth Palace hosted the 2018 Lambeth Awards. Launched by Archbishop Justin Welby in 2016, the awards recognise extraordinary service in various fields including conflict resolution, education, worship, journalism and evangelism.
The Lanfranc Award, as named after Lanfranc, a scholar, teacher and Archbishop of Canterbury from 1070 to 1089, was granted to Professor Tom McLeish for outstanding work in education and science, and for upholding his position as a leading contemporary lay Anglican voice in the dialogue of science and faith. Tom is a Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Department of Physics, chair of the Royal Society's education committee, and the recipient of several awards for work on the molecular rheology of polymers.
Professor McLeish has published over 180 scientific papers and reviews and is regularly involved in science communication with the public, including lectures and workshops on science and faith. In 2014 OUPpublished his book Faith and Wisdom in Science and in 2016, with David Hutchings, Tom published Let there be Science. He has been a Reader in the Anglican Church since 1993, in the dioceses of Ripon and York, and is a key leader in the Ordered Universe Project (a collaboration between the universities of Durham, Oxford and York); reexamining scientific thinking in the 12th-14th centuries and producing new insights into the vital but overlooked foundations of modern science.
Professor McLeish said: "I am deeply honoured by this award and as delighted by its sign that the church is rediscovering a natural role in supporting science".
During the ceremony the Archbishop expressed the thanks of the Church and the wider community for the recipients’ outstanding contributions in their fields. He added that he hoped the world at large will “see what these people have done and understand that, in their different fields, they show forth values which are our values, Gospel values of love for humanity, reconciliation and selfless service; and, more widely, values common to all people of good will – values of common decency and a refusal to bow to false gods".