Mike Brownnutt

Mike Brownnutt

Department of Philosophy
Doctoral researcher

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PhD title: The Role of Quasi-Objects in Understanding Science, Religion, and Their Engagement
Supervisors: Dr Stephen Jones, Professor Fern Elsdon-Baker,  Professor Yujin Nagasawa
PhD Philosophy


  • MSci (Physics)
  • PhD (Physics)
  • Habil. (Physics)
  • MA (Theology)


I obtained a Master’s degree (MSci in physics) and PhD (in experimental quantum mechanics) from Imperial College London, UK. I then spent eight years at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and wrote my habilitation on my work there, developing scalable architectures for quantum computers. Given an abiding interest in the relationship between science and religion, I completed another Master’s degree (MA in theology from the University of Chester) considering how faith is understood by various parties in discourse on the relationship between Christianity and science. Since 2015 I have worked at the University of Hong Kong, where I am the Associate Director of the Faith and Science Collaborative Research Forum.


Some conceptions of the practice of science break the enterprise down into the things related to the external (i.e. human-mind-independent) world on the one hand, and things related to human culture on the other. Some conceptions of the practice of religion do much the same. Within a quasi-object framing, however, it is held that we can never apprehend the external world independent of cultural considerations, and we can never create culture independent of the external world. My PhD aims to take the work that is being done on quasi-objects by philosophers of science and technology, and the work being done on quasi-objects by anthropologists and sociologists of religion, and see if insights from the two areas can be fruitfully related.

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