In July 2007 a conference was held at the University of Lancaster to mark the retirement of John Hedley Brooke. The original idea for the conference came from Stephen Pumfrey, who had started his career under John's mentorship at Lancaster. Thomas Dixon, who was at that time also at Lancaster, took the lead in organizing the event. Both the Lancaster organizers were extremely grateful for the advice and support of Geoffrey Cantor, who assisted with the planning of the original conference.
The 2007 conference was attended by many of John Brooke's friends, colleagues, and students who were keen to acknowledge his substantial contributions to the historical study of science and religion, and particularly the influence he has had on a whole generation of scholars and students through his book Science and religion: Some historical perspectives, published in 1991, and his other publications, as well as through personal contact and encouragement. John taught in the History Department at the University of Lancaster from 1969 to 1999 and then moved to the Andreas Idreos Chair in Science and Religion at the University of Oxford until his retirement in 2006.
Over a hundred and fifty people attended the Lancaster conference. Dozens of excellent papers were given on that occasion, which could together have provided material for several edited books offering a range of historical and contemporary perspectives.