2022 Conference

The Fletcher School’s Initiative on Religion, Law, and Diplomacy explores the intersection between religion and science in its timely spring 2022 conference. There is an increasingly pervasive cultural narrative that there is an inherent and irreconcilable competition between religion and science.  Despite this perception, religion and science intersect in various areas of public policy, law, and socio-cultural norms. Religious communities possess historical experience, intellectual and ethical resources, and operational capacity that can either collaborate with or oppose scientific advances; likewise, scientific communities are either open to engagement with faith-based actors or subscribe to conventional narratives about the intrinsic incompatibilities of religion and science.

 We believe that exploring this connection can help us to understand and resolve the world’s most pressing issues, including pandemics and public health, climate change and environmental stewardship, and nuclear proliferation and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

9:45-10:00 AM — Welcome

  • Dean Rachel Kyte of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy


10:00-11:30 AM Panel 1. Religion & Public Health: The Diplomacy of Healing

  • Moderator: Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou, Director of Fletcher Initiative on Religion, Law, and Diplomacy, Tufts University
  • Ms. Hassanatu Blake, Global EdTech and Public Health advisor, Tufts School of Medicine
  • Dr. Natalia Linos, Executive Director, Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights
  • Dr. Wendy Cadge, Dean of Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Brandeis University
  • Dr. Rosemary Taylor, Associate Professor of Sociology and Community Health, Tufts University


11:30 AM-12:30 PM Break

12:30-2:00 PM Panel 2. Faith in Climate Advocacy: Religion as a Resource for Climate Action

  • Moderator: Rev. Dr. Susan Hayward, Associate Director, Harvard Divinity School Program on Religion and Public Life, and Former USIP Senior Advisor
  • Ms. Nana Firman, Co-Founder, Global Muslim Climate Network
  • Dr. Aaron Wolf, Professor of Geography in the Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University
  • Dr. Erin Lothes Biviano, Theologian, Saint Elizabeth University, Energy Ethics and Faith-Based Environmentalism Expert


2:00-3:00 PM — Keynote Conversation: Faith, Conservation & ESG Investing

  • Martin Palmer, Founder of Faithinvest, former SEC General of Alliance of Religions and Conservation


3:00-3:30 PM Break

3:30-5:00 PM — Panel 3. Religion and Nuclear Nonproliferation 

  • Moderator: Dr. Eric Steinhart, Professor Philosophy, William Patterson University
  • Dr. Frank von Hippel, Physicist and Professor of Public and International Affairs Emeritus at Princeton’s Program on Science & Global Security
  • Dr. Gayle Woloschak, Professor of Radiation Oncology and Radiology, Northwestern University
  • Ms. Linnet Wairimu Ng’ayu, Instituional Strneghtening Advisor, African Council of Religious Leaders — Religions for Peace
  • Mr. Daniel Hall, Director of Public Affairs, Soka Gakkai International-USA Buddhist Association