How did the Society begin? It is a remarkable history. The Society of
Ordained Scientists did not entirely spring complete and sudden from
Arthur Peacocke's fertile mind like Pallas Athene from the mind of Zeus.
It grew and was nourished in the conversation of friends sharing the same
concerns, the same sense that is was necessary for our identity as both
ordained men and women and scientists to hold our two vocations
together. We also felt that the Churches needed what we could offer and
that our offering of ourselves to God in the Churches would best be
achieved within fellowship of mutual support and prayer.

And yet Arthur was the initiator, the catalyst (except that he did not remain
unchanged by the reaction he activated), the source of the vision of a
dispersed ecumenical Order in the Church and the person who
communicated his vision effectively to so many others. I doubt if even
Arthur himself could have foreseen how widely his idea would be
welcomed, nor the encouraging growth of the Society over the years since
the foundation.

We cannot know what our Society's future role will be, but it does seem to
be of increasing importance in helping the Christian churches relate to the
scientific culture of the late 20th century.

We are indebted to Arthur Peacocke, first Warden of the Society, and to
Eric Jenkins, for their accounts of the earliest stages of the turning of a
distinctive shared vision into a reality.

J. M. Kerr
Warden, SOSc, 1994

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