Episode 6: Science and Religion in African Contexts with Dr Bankole Falade

Dr Bankole Falade is a Research Fellow with the South African Research Chair in Science Communication, Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology, Stellenbosch University.

A social psychologist, Dr Falade’s work focuses on the interactions between science and religion; perceptions of health and disease in Africa; and public trust, interest, engagement with and attitudes to science. You can read Bankole’s researcher profile here.

In this episode we talk with Bankole about his recent social psychological and media research on science and religion in South Africa and Nigeria. Bankole introduces the concepts of polyphasia and cognitive dissonance, explains how they are helpful in understanding how and why individuals are able to reconcile apparently contradictory beliefs, and why these concepts are useful for researchers interested in understanding science and belief in diverse social contexts. Bankole also provides an insight into the (social and traditional) media landscapes in South Africa and Nigeria, and how these in turn shape and influence beliefs, including shaping public attitudes during the COVID19 pandemic.

(This podcast was recorded in September 2020)

This podcast is 59 minutes and 48 seconds long

The keywords associated with this podcast are:

  • Cognitive Dissonance
  • Polyphasia
  • Social Psychology
  • South Africa
  • Nigeria

To learn more about these issues, we recommend that you read the following articles:

  • Falade, B. A., & Guenther, L. (2020) ‘Dissonance and polyphasia as strategies for resolving the potential conflict between science and religion among South Africans’. Minerva online https://doi.org/10.1007/s11024-020-09403-8
  • Falade, B. A., & Bauer, M. W. (2018). ‘I have faith in science and in God’: Common sense, cognitive polyphasia and attitudes to science in Nigeria. Public Understanding of Science27(1), 29- 46. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28194998

Also of note is this blog post from the Public Understanding of Science: https://sagepus.blogspot.com/2017/02/is-religion-at-war-with-science-in.html