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2014 Gifford Lecture Series: University of Edinburgh

What is Caesar’s? Adjudicating Faith in Modern Constitutional Democracies to be held on Monday 19 May 2014. [More…]

2014 Gifford Lecture Series: University of Glasgow

Givenness and Revelation begins Tuesday 20 May 2014. [More…]

YouTube Channel

Gifford Lectures now has a YouTube Channel! [More…]


A new Gifford Lectures page for St. Andrews. [More…]

Eight Books Based on Gifford Lectures

Eight books derived from the Gifford lectures are available. [More…]


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Simon Conway Morris

1951 -

Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Cambridge



Simon Conway Morris was born in 1951 and brought up in London. He is professor of evolutionary palaeobiology in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge.
In 1972, he received his BSc degree with first class honours in geology from the University of Bristol. Elected fellow of St Johnís College in 1975, he received his PhD in 1976 from the University of Cambridge. In 1979, he was appointed lecturer in the Department of Earth Sciences at Open University. Four years later, Dr Morris was appointed lecturer in the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Cambridge.
He was appointed reader in evolutionary palaeobiology in 1991; in 1995, he was elected to an ad hominem chair in evolutionary palaeobiology at the University of Cambridge.
Among his many awards and honours, Dr Morris was elected Fellow of the Royal Society (1990). Additionally, he was awarded the Charles Doolittle Walcot Medal of the National Academy of Sciences (1987), Yale Universityís George Gaylord Simpson Prize (1992) and the Lyell Medal of the Geological Society of London (1998). In 2007, he received the Trotter Prize from Texas A&M University. He was a recipient of a science research fellowship from the Nuffield Foundation. In 2007, Professor Morris gave the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh entitled Darwinís Compass: How Evolution Discovers the Song of Creation.
Author of numerous articles published in prestigious journals such as Nature, Science and Cell, he has also given many lectures and appeared on television and radio, including presenting the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for the BBC in 1996. Dr Morris has written two books: The Crucible of Creation: The Burgess Shale and the Rise of Animals (1998) and Lifeís Solutions: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe (2003).
While he is best known for work on the Cambrian explosion, especially as related to Burgess Shale fossil fauna, his more recent interest, evolving from his earlier work, is in evolutionary convergence. Professor Morris has engaged in public debate arguing against intelligent design on the one hand and against materialism on the other.
Since 2005, Dr. Morris has been involved in the Cambridge-Templeton Consortium, a $5.5 million project funded by the John Templeton Foundation to encourage scientific research relevant to the continuing debate over the purpose of emerging biological complexity.
Larry Pullen
Templeton Press