About SHDP

The Science and Human Dimension Project – SHDP – was founded in 1990 and is based at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge.

SHDP provides a high level forum for the discussion and debate of important questions and ethical dilemmas arising from cutting edge scientific, climate and technology research.

SHDP’s long established and unique position at the heart of the Cambridge academic community allows it access to world class researchers and an interdisciplinary network of scientists, philosophers, theologians, as well as leaders from technology, business and policy making. In 2022-24 our focus turns to migration and climate change on the Mediterranean sea and the countries and regions surrounding it.

Who we work with

SHDP has a successful track record of working with leaders in research, industry, government and the media to organise conferences as well as promote outreach via conference reports, books and journalism to a wide audience.

Examples of organisations we have worked with:

  • University of Cambridge
  • DeepMind (Google)
  • Nature
  • New Scientist
  • Prospect Magazine
  • Wellcome Trust
  • Oxford University Press
  • City University Journalism School
  • BlueSci
  • Templeton World Charity Foundation

Who participates?

SHDP events attract world class scientists, technologists, philosophers, historians, mathematicians, climate scientists and thinkers, as well as leaders from industry, government and the media. SHDP speakers include:

Lord Martin Rees

Former President of the Royal Society and Astronomer Royal

Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve

Philosopher and politician

Oliver Sacks, MD

Physician, author, neurologist

Demis Hassabis

Co-founder and CEO, DeepMind

Jaan Tallinn

Co-Founder, Skype

Margaret Boden OBE

Cognitive scientist and philosopher

Gerald Edelman

Biologist and Nobel Laureate

Mary Midgely


Sir Francis Crick

Biologist and Nobel Laureate

Sydney Brenner

Biologist and Nobel Laureate

Freeman Dyson

Theoretical physicist, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Beth Singler

Homerton College, Cambridge; Centre for the Future of Intelligence

Sir Anthony Kenny


Lewis Wolpert

Developmental biologist

John Searle

Philosopher of language and mind

George Steiner

Philosopher and Critic

Sir Roger Penrose

Mathematical Physicist and Nobel Laureate

Janet Soskice

Professor of Philosophical Theology, University of Cambridge

Alasdair MacIntyre

Moral Philosopher, University of Notre Dame

John Naughton

CRASSH, University of Cambridge; Professor of Public Understanding of Technology, OU

John Thornhill

Innovation Editor, Financial Times

John Polkinghorne

Physicist and Priest

Patricia Churchland


Andrew Brown

Editor, Comment is Free: Belief, The Guardian

SHDP People

John Cornwell MA Hon DLitt FRSL

John Cornwell MA Hon DLitt FRSL


Jonathan S. Cornwell

Jonathan S. Cornwell


Dr Tudor Jenkins

Dr Tudor Jenkins

Member, SHDP Advisory Board

Nathan Brooker

Nathan Brooker

Member, SHDP Advisory Board

The AI and the Future of Humanity Project

We thank the Master and Fellows of Jesus College, Cambridge, and Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF) for their support of this project. For their contribution to the project we also thank Prof Adam Roberts of RHUL Dr Simone Schnall, Rev’d Dr Paul Dominiak and Rev’d Dr Tim Jenkins of Jesus College, Cambridge; Dr Beth Singler of the Faraday Institute and Homerton College, Cambridge; Dr Adrian Weller of Cambridge and Turing Institute, Prof Murray Shanahan of Imperial College and DeepMind, the author and publisher Keith Mansfield, Sam Thorp, Dr Elisabeth Schimpfossl, conference rapporteur Sally Adee, Sumit Paul-Choudhury of the New Scientist, Colin Ramsay of Little Dragon Films.

Neutrality and independence

SHDP is a neutral forum and it addresses the most important questions facing humanity in a critical and independent way. The project is run on a not-for-profit basis