Emily Smith | Science & Neighborliness

Emily Smith shares her scientific knowledge with the hopes that it can contribute to neighborliness and care for those most in need.


Wow, thank you for this very thoughtful discussion. I am halfway through and really enjoying Dr Smith’s science and compassion. Her quotes of Pope Francis and work in Somaliland make it so much the better.


Interesting podcast. she echos the feelings of many of us living through Covid and the lost opportunities. I am curious about her statement about being critical of Samaritan’s Purse during Covid, as I was unaware of much criticism. In googling about their activities, the only problem that stood out was that their efforts seemed to be concentrated in areas and countries that were fairly affluent and not in areas that really needed more resources, which may be indicative of bigger problems of heart.

I am reminded of the closing in Jonah, and how we like him are more concerned for our personal comfort than the many in need:
But the LORD said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight.
11 “So may I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has more than a hundred twenty thousand people who cannot distinguish between their right and their left, as well as many animals? “


This actually brought tears to my eyes, because here you have someone whose outreach is so utilitarian, so good-samaritan-like, and yet she receives hate from Christians. I couldn’t help thinking that the healing the Jesus did was met with similar scepticism, mistrust, and even accusations of being in league with Satan, and it came from the pious of his age.

I remember how I became known in a Catholic diocese as someone whose efforts had brought a priest, who had suffered a stroke, back to his feet so that he could continue his ministry, even to the point of the priest saying, “he healed me!” Which was not true, my team had consequently employed well-tried methods and he had followed instructions, which provided a good outcome.

When another priest of a local parish came to me my ward with Parkinson’s, he didn’t comply with instructions, drank copious amounts of wine, and finally died, I was at his funeral and the Bishop practically accused my team of abuse towards this second priest, which came because they told him that his wine consumption was hindering the little we could do, and worsening his condition, which we couldn’t change in the way we had with the priest who had a stroke. Parkinson’s is a degenerative illness and not like a stroke at all.

We received so much criticism after that, and the crowd virtually turned on us. This is a strange experience to make when you see yourself as being called to the profession, having helped make the final years, or even weeks, in some cases last days of so many terminal patients comfortable, praying with them, and giving them the dignity that they deserved. It was an act of love, but in the end, I left because it was no longer bearable.


@jstump, Thank you and Dr Smith for this. I would be interested to hear what part of this resonated with you the most.

I enjoyed the discussion of equity, and Pope Francis’ “sacred ground of the other,” where with respect, we take off our shoes.


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Oh it wasn’t the org as much as it was Franklin himself. Highly problematic and standing in solidarity with the former president regarding all the rhetoric that kept people sick.


Definitely leaning toward ‘Christian nationalism’. :confused:

I can relate: I’ve been verbally attacked by people who don’t like my conservation efforts, some to the point where they denounce me as “ruining the place” even though one piece of my trail work reduced ambulance visits to that location by over thirty per year.


We have unity there. Lots on evangelical leaders are in that “elite” group as well.

People seem to know that to really hurt an idealist, you don’t criticise his work, but his intentions …


Thanks Randy. Here was my favorite line: “I wanted to help people understand those trigger words, those hot topic words for what they really are. Because “systemic racism” or “universal health coverage” or “solidarity”, they can seem triggering, but I think if we would understand them and hold them up to the sky, I think they reflect heaven because they’re an equity issue.”


Thanks for this podcast. I found it very Christ-centred. The parable of the Good Samaritan is challenging to all of us to see the world outside of our self-centric lenses.

I’d like to give a shout-out to @jstump for the well done interview, with compassionate and insightful questions.


Thanks. I was actually going to ask you if you could expand on the definition and importance of equity. That’s really good.

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This is one of those things that drive me up a wall with right-wing politicians in the U.S.: how can they claim to think the U.S. is a Christian nation yet oppose universal health care? That’s a pretty hefty chunk of cognitive disconnect!


I’m reading and enjoying her book (on Audible). I am understanding her concerns about equity better. I am gobsmacked that her science experiment was disqualified because it was too good to be true, and she looked too much like a model, so boys got the prize!


I am most of the way through the Audible version of Dr Smith’s book–It is a great mixture of understanding, pleasant explanation of Christlike communication of science and how to improve health care through equity. @jstump, thank you to BioLogos for this. I hope to share a paper copy with some friends.