Latest News

a black and white photograph of Dr Bastiaan Rutjens
11th May 2022

S2 Episode 6: Science Scepticism around the World with Dr Baastian Rutjens

Understanding public attitudes towards science has become an increasingly important area of research in recent decades, and the importance of this kind of work has only been heightened by the emergence of COVID-19, and the diverse and unpredictable public responses to scientific and medical advice during the pandemic. In this episode Will and Richard talk to Dr Baastian Rutjens, who investigates public attitudes to science around the world, with…

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22nd March 2022

Science and Religion, A Very Short Re-Introduction

By Adam R. Shapiro When Thomas Dixon first asked me to work with him to revise and update his excellent 2008 book Science and Religion, A Very Short Introduction, my first thought was to ask why such a text might need a new edition. On the face of it, many of the issues we typically associate with the study of “science and religion” seem timeless, or…

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1st February 2022

S2 Episode 4: Cultural Psychology of the Mind with Dr Vivian Dzokoto

In this episode, hosts Richard Grove and James Riley meet with Dr. Vivian Dzokoto, a Cultural Psychologist at Virginia Commonwealth University in the United States, to discuss her work on the cultural differences in how people think about “the mind.” Dr. Dzokoto has published research on a wide range of topics. However, one of the key characteristics of her research is the examination of culture and religion. Much of her…

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14th December 2021

S2 Episode 3: Varieties of Atheism in Science with Professor Elaine Howard Ecklund and Dr David R. Johnson

In this episode, hosts Rachael Shillitoe and Richard Grove, meet with Elaine Howard Ecklund, Professor of Sociology at Rice University and David R. Johnson, Associate Professor of Educational Policy Studies at Georgia State University, to discuss their new book, Varieties of Atheism in Science, out now with Oxford University Press. Elaine and David reflect on the findings of their study which drew on surveys and interviews with atheist scientists in the UK and…

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6th December 2021

Call for Papers: The International Research Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society, 3rd Annual Conference

University of Birmingham and Online (hybrid conference) 13-15 July 2022 Bursaries and honoraria to support participation, whether in-person or online are available, see below for more. The International Research Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society has been at the centre of the recent significant growth in social scientific and humanities research focusing on science, religion, and belief in society. Following our successful online conference…

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A black and white photograph of Dr Anna Halafoff
23rd November 2021

S2 Episode 2: Science, (Con)spirituality and COVID-19 with Dr Anna Halafoff

New-age spirituality, wellness and alternative health practices have been cast in a new light as the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded. The relationship between these practices and established or mainstream science and public health has tended to be an uneasy one, and this unease has only increased during the pandemic, with online spiritualist and wellness communities providing fertile ground for the growth and spread of increasingly anti-establishment and conspiratorial ideas.

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a sepia image of five adults at seance table with ectoplasm streaming below a table
27th October 2021

S2 Episode 1 – Fingerprinting Ghosts: Science, Technology & the Occult with The Media of Mediumship Project Team

The Media of Mediumship project is running jointly at the University of Stirling and the Science Museum Group. The project team comprises Principal Investigator Professor Christine Ferguson, Co-Investigator Dr Efram Sera-Shriar and Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Emma Merkling. In this very spooky episode, Christine, Efram and Emma tell us how from the late-Victorian era, novel technologies of the…

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5th October 2021

STEMM and Belief in Diverse Contexts Conference: reflections from Africa

From 7-9 July 2021 we held our annual INSBS conference, STEMM and Belief in Diverse Contexts: Publics, Praxis, Policy and Pluralism. Postponed in 2020 and held online in 2021 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in this post three of our members from Africa reflect on their online conference experience. Belief and Science is not always a Toxic Combination By Ganiyat…

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24th May 2021

STEMM and Belief in Diverse Contexts: Publics, Praxis, Policy and Pluralism Online conference, 7-9 July 2021 This conference took place from 7-9 July 2021 online. The final programme can be found at the following Download link: INSBS-Conference-2021-Final-ProgrammeDownload Included in the Programme are the following two plenary events. These are public lectures. Intersectional Approaches to Diversity in STEMM: Belief, Culture, and Inclusion The lack of diversity…

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23rd April 2021

Registration: STEMM and Belief in Diverse Contexts: Publics, Praxis, Policy & Pluralism

Online conference, 7-9 July 2021 Conference format Due to constraints imposed by COVID 19, this conference will be entirely online. Sessions will be held throughout the day in order to enable people from different time zones to participate. Participants will be given the option of pre-recording their presentations, with recordings being submitted in advance of the conference dates.  If you have any questions or concerns about access or the conference…

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15th February 2021

How to Build an Academic Network

By Stephen H. Jones and Paula Brikci  On 5th February, the International Research Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society launched a call for grants to support the development of regional academic networks. In this blog, drawing on the insights of scholars from across the field, Stephen H. Jones and Paula Brikci look at what makes a good academic network and what anyone thinking of establishing…

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15th February 2021

Call for Papers: STEMM and Belief in Diverse Contexts: Publics, Praxis, Policy & Pluralism

Update 16 March: Call for Papers is now closed. Online conference, 7-9 July 2021 In the last decade, there has been significant growth in social scientific and humanities research focusing on science, religion and belief in society. Greater attention is being paid to the varied ways in which perceptions of different aspects of STEMM subjects (science, technology, engineering, medicine, and mathematics) have been, or are, influenced by religious and non-religious…

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4th February 2021

Announcing our first International Research Network grant awards

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash We are pleased to announce the first awards made via our Seed Funding and Small Research Grants scheme. We have been able to award funding to fifteen projects in this first round of funding. Projects will focus on conducting socially relevant research across a variety of aspects in the field of religion and science in society, in a broad range of countries.

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18th January 2021

Emergent Themes in the Study of Science & Belief in Society

PhD Workshop Online 12 – 16 April 2021 The International Research Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society (INSBS) will be running an international PhD workshop online from 12-16 April 2021. The workshop is open to anyone currently enrolled on a PhD programme and conducting research on any social or cultural aspect of Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths or Medicine (STEMM) in relation to any religious, spiritual or non-religious…

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12th January 2021

Episode 4: Science and Religion amongst Indian Scientists with Dr Renny Thomas

Renny Thomas is Assistant Professor  (Sociology and Social Anthropology), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal, India.  Before joining IISER, he taught at the Department of Sociology, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi, New Delhi (2015-2021). Renny received his PhD in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and was the 2017-2018 Charles Wallace Fellowship in Social Anthropology at Queen’s University, Belfast, UK. You…

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1st December 2020

Episode 3: Science, Religion and Stereotypes with Dr Kimberly Rios

Dr Kim Rios is Associate Professor of Psychology at Ohio University where she has taught since 2013. whose research explores the relationship between science, religion and identity from a Social Psychological perspective. She is interested in the causes and consequences of stereotyping/prejudice among religious majorities (such as, negative stereotypes about Christians’ scientific abilities) and minorities (for example, negative stereotypes about atheists’ morality and trustworthiness), both within the U.S. and cross-culturally.

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24th November 2020

Podcast Special: COVID, Conspiracies & Vaccines – Dr Tom Aechtner

Recently, we caught up with Dr Tom Aechtner, Senior Lecturer in Religion and Science at the University of Queensland, to record an episode for the Science & Belief in Society podcast series. That episode, on Tom’s work around persuasion tactics in science and religion mass media communication, will be launched in Summer 2021. Tom has also been researching vaccination scepticism and anti-vaccination movements and media. Given…

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3rd November 2020

Episode 2: Sociological Research on Science and Religion in the USA – Dr Shiri Noy

Dr Shiri Noy is an Assistant Professor in Sociology at Denison University, Ohio. Her research interests are in political culture, globalization, and development. You can read her Researcher Profile here. In this episode, we talk with Shiri about the value of quantitative and qualitative methods in understanding public attitudes to science and religion in the US; how theoretical insights from political and cultural sociology help to…

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20th October 2020

Episode 1: Introducing the Network – Professor Fern Elsdon-Baker

Professor Fern Elsdon-Baker is the Director for the International Research Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society and the Principal Investigator on the Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum of Global Perspectives project. She is a Professor in Science, Knowledge and Belief in Society and is the Director of the Science, Knowledge and Belief in Society Research Group at the University of Birmingham.

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14th October 2020

New Podcast Series launched

Today (14 October 2020) we are launching our new audio series: Science and Belief in Society podcasts. More information and a schedule of release dates can be found here.

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