Aims and Objectives

The International Research Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society (INSBS) supports the growth of high-quality international research examining the relationship between science and religion, in relation to cutting edge social issues and individuals’ lived experiences.

We aim to foster and support research that examines any social or cultural aspect of science, technology, engineering, mathematics or medicine (STEMM) in relation to any religious, spiritual or non-religious tradition, position or worldview, including unbelief.

The network brings together and builds links between researchers in a range of disciplines across the social sciences and humanities, including (but not limited to) sociology of religion, psychology of religion, science and technology studies, sociology of health/medicine, media and cultural studies, social anthropology, politics, the history and philosophy of science/religion and religious studies.

Our member’s research interests cover a wide range of issues including:

  • The social scientific and historical study of the relationship between science and religious and/or non-religious belief and identity;
  • Public perceptions of the relationship between science, religion and non-religion and their respective roles in society;
  • National and international comparative perspectives on the study of science, religion and belief in society;
  • Past and present media, or popular, representations of science, religion and belief in society;
  • The past or present roles of science, rationalism, religion and belief in national, social or cultural identity and related geopolitical narratives;
  • Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of science, religion and non-religion in society;
  • Research relating to any aspect of public policy that intersects with issues connected to science, religion and belief in society. This includes studies on the impact of publics’ views on science and religion on policy making, and provision for religious, spiritual or non-religious communities across a range of geographies and issues (e.g. healthcare provision, educational policy, science policy, environmental policy and  development policy);
  • International studies of religious or spiritual communities’ perspectives on the intersection, and possible relationships, between science and religion over time.

The International Research Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society (INSBS) is a recently established research network that grew out of the work undertaken by the Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum project.

Our first inaugural conference was held at the University of Birmingham from 4-6 July 2019.

This research network is currently is funded by the Templeton Religion Trust.