The Science Network – Wikipedia


The Science Network (TSN) is a non-profit virtual forum dedicated to science and its impact on society. It was initially conceived in 2003 by Roger Bingham and Terry Sejnowski as a cable science TV network modeled on C-SPAN.[1][2] TSN later became a global digital platform hosting videos of lectures from scientific meetings and long form one-on-one conversations with prominent scientists and communicators of science, including Neil deGrasse Tyson, V.S. Ramachandran, Helen S. Mayberg, and Barbara Landau. TSN has also sponsored and co-sponsored scientific forums, such as Stem cells: science, ethics and politics at the crossroads, held at the Salk Institute in 2004 [3][4] and the Beyond Belief conference series.[5]

Beyond Belief conference series[edit]

TSN’s signature series Beyond Belief was conceived to bring together a community of scientists, philosophers, scholars from the humanities, and social commentators. Speakers at these meetings have included Steven Weinberg, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Harry Kroto, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Stuart Kauffman. So far, the following three Beyond Belief conferences were organized:

2006: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival[edit]

Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival, the first of The Science Network’s annual Beyond Belief symposia, held from November 5 to November 7, 2006,[6] was described by The New York Times, as “a free-for-all on science and religion,” which seemed at times like “the founding convention for a political party built on a single plank: in a world dangerously charged with ideology, science needs to take on an evangelical role, vying with religion as teller of the greatest story ever told.” According to participant Melvin Konner, however, the event came to resemble a “den of vipers” debating the issue, “Should we bash religion with a crowbar or only with a baseball bat?”[7]

New Scientist summed up the topics to be discussed as a list of three questions:[8]

  • Can science help us create a new rational narrative as poetic and powerful as those that have traditionally sustained societies?
  • Can we treat religion as a natural phenomenon?
  • Can we be good without God? And if not God, then what?

Speakers included physicists Steven Weinberg, Lawrence Krauss, Philosopher/author Sam Harris, biologist Joan Roughgarden, Michael Shermer of Skeptic Magazine, anthropologist Scott Atran and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.[7]

2007: Enlightenment 2.0[edit]

Beyond Belief: Enlightenment 2.0 was the second annual symposium and was held from 31 October to 2 November 2007[9] at the Frederic de Hoffmann Auditorium of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

The conference was released on a five-disc DVD series in 2007.[10]

2008: Candles in the Dark[edit]

Beyond Belief: Candles in the Dark was the third annual Beyond Belief symposium. This event was organized by The Science Network and held from 3 October to 6 October 2008 in San Diego, CA.[11]


  1. ^ Philipowski, Kristen (December 18, 2003). “Are You Ready for Some Science?”. Wired. Retrieved July 13, 2019. Along with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan and founder of the science education venture Cosmos Studios; Sally Ride, the astronaut and physicist; Michael Shermer, director of the Skeptics Society; Salk Institute neuroscientist Terry Sejnowski; and other science stars, Bingham is building the Cable Science Network….The network will air unedited, C-SPAN-style talks from conferences like the Society for Neuroscience or the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meetings.
  2. ^ Shermer, Michael (November 1, 2013). “Candle in the Dark: Instead of cursing the darkness of pseudoscience on television, light a candle with Cable Science Network”. Scientific American. Retrieved July 13, 2019. Cable Science Network, or CSN, is in the offing. Roger Bingham of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California at San Diego is spearheading a movement (of which I am a part, along with Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan, and Salk Institute neuroscientist Terry Sejnowski) to launch a nonprofit organization modeled on the ubiquitous C-SPAN (Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network)
  3. ^ Stem Cells: Science, Ethics and Politics at the Crossroads
  4. ^ Inside Salk 11 04
  5. ^ Beyond Belief conference series
  6. ^ Beyond Belief: Science, Reason, Religion & Survival
  7. ^ a b A Free-for-All on Science and Religion,” George Johnson, New York Times, Section F, Page 1, November 21, 2006
  8. ^ Michael Brooks and Helen Phillips, New Scientist, November 20, 2006
  9. ^ Beyond Belief: Enlightenment 2.0
  10. ^ “Beyond belief : Enlightenment 2.0”. WorldCat. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  11. ^ “2008 Official Website”. The Science Network. Retrieved 2009-07-09.

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