News & Blog

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

Dr Renny Thomas is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi (India). 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 can read his Researcher Profile here. In this episode, Renny introduces his research on science and religion in India.

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15th December 2020

Crusading for Moral Authority: Christian Nationalism and Opposition to Science in the United States

By Joseph O. Baker, Samuel L. Perry and Andrew L. Whitehead “Culture in Crisis” wall at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky On August 30 2020, Los Angeles megachurch pastor John MacArthur told his congregation “There is no pandemic.” Grace Community Church was meeting in defiance of local and state ordinances against large in-person gatherings. After citing a common misinterpretation of data about COVID-19 from the…

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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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17th November 2020

Half of College Biology Students in the United States Think Evolution is Atheistic

by Liz Barnes Photo by Eugene Zhyvchik on Unsplash Does someone have to be an atheist to accept evolution? According to the philosophy of science and many science educators the answer is no. However, my recent study has revealed that over half of college biology students in the United States think that in order to accept evolution fully, they would have to be an atheist. This is…

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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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27th October 2020

The Secret Social Lives of Science

By Stephen H. Jones On a rain-soaked day, thousands marched on Washington DC to fight for science funding and scientific analysis in politics Read enough science journalism and eventually you will become familiar with two tropes that seem to contradict one another. On the one hand, journalists will often write about ‘science’ as though it is an unquestioned authority, with the more opportunistic members of the profession using the…

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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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29th September 2020

Evolution as a Trojan Horse

By Bernard Lightman The Trojan Horse by Hendrik Willem Van Loon, in the Story of Mankind (Public Domain) With the benefit of hindsight, we can now see that over the course of the past 150 years a remarkable reversal has taken place. Whereas once the investigation of nature had derived status from its intimate connections with the more elevated disciplines of ethics and theology, increasingly…

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15th September 2020

New Pew Report on the Intersection of Science and Religion in Southeast Asia

By James Riley “Buddhist temple detail Singapore #dailyshoot” by Leshaines123 is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit. Pew Research Center recently released a new report exploring the intersections of science and religion, based on new data from interviews with Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists in Malaysia and Singapore. The report’s authors said:…

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15th September 2020

Reflections on the 2020 Early Career Workshop

By Amanda Beardsley and Jude Likori The most frequently used words in feedback given by our ECR workshop participants In July of this year, the INSBS Network hosted a week-long workshop for Early Career Researchers. The Workshop was split into two groups to accommodate a broad range of time zones. Two members of the groups give us their reflections on the workshop below; Amanda (West Cohort) and Jude (East Cohort).

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4th August 2020

The Pope is looking to scientists to find a cure for coronavirus – but so are Ricky Gervais and Richard Dawkins

By Alper Bilgili A cartoon, widely circulated on social media, depicts clergy of various religions in despair, begging a scientist to find a cure for COVID-19. In another, clergy are staring at a picture of a nurse who asks for silence with a “SHHH” sign. Those who share these cartoons seem certain that the ensuing pandemic once again proves the superiority of natural sciences over other forms of knowledge.

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14th July 2020

How Does the Science-Religion Conflict Narrative Affect Christians?

By Kimberley Rios This article was originally published on the Heterodox Blog and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, No-Derivatives 4.0 International License. Just a few weeks ago, a blog post appeared in my social media news feed titled “Why your Christian friends and family members are so easily fooled by conspiracy theories.” The post caught my…

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30th June 2020

The ‘Scientific Interpretation’ of the Bible and the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom

By James C. Ungureanu In his Autobiography, Charles Darwin (1809-1882) gave three specific reasons for his growing religious doubts. He became morally revolted by the God of the Old Testament, whom he characterised as a “revengeful tyrant.” Moreover, the discovery of the “fixed laws of nature” made belief in miracles seem “incredible” to him. Finally, he concluded that recent historical-critical scholarship—or biblical criticism—demonstrated that the Gospels were completely…

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18th June 2020

Funding Success for INSBS Network member

Congratulations to our Network member, Bastiaan Rutjens (University of Amsterdam) on his recent success in securing a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant to set up a lab focussed on the psychology of science skepticism. We caught up with Bastiaan recently and he explained that “The rejection of science that we see across various segments of society represents an important challenge. While recent research has…

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16th June 2020

Teaching evolution in Mexico: bringing creationism to the classroom?

By Juan Manuel Rodriguez-Caso UNAM Central Library, south wall, seen from the esplanade of the rectory. Source: José Miguel García Fernández, Wikimedia Commons (CC Attribution Share Alike 4.0 International license) When problems related to the teaching of evolution in the classroom, and the conflicts arising from various forms of creationism – particularly scientific creationism and “intelligent design” – are discussed, the country which may…

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2nd June 2020

A Brief Look at the History of Extraterrestrial Life Debate

By Parandis Tajbakhsh A lithograph of the hoax's "ruby amphitheater", as printed in The Sun. Source: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain). In 2018, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) began its two-year mission searching for extrasolar planets, orbiting around 200,000 stars located within 300 light-years of the Earth. TESS followed in the footsteps of NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, launched in 2009to find Earth-sized or smaller planets around…

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19th May 2020

The other Christians: Science and Orthodox Christianity

By Kostas Tampakis Science and Religion, as a field of study, is flourishing. This is an easy assessment to make, if one considers the number of conferences, articles, books and dedicated journals that operate within the broad boundaries of the field. A subtler sign of the field’s growth is to be found in the disciplines that Science and Religion scholars have brought into the field in recent years. As last…

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