News & Blog

23rd February 2021

Science and Social Stereotypes

***This blog post originally appeared on the University of Birmingham website, 10 February 2021, and is reproduced here with the kind permission of the University of Birmingham.*** 11 February was the United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science. To mark the occasion network members Carissa Sharp and Stephen Jones explore the reasons why initiatives in…

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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

Online conference, 7-9 July 2021 Click to submit an individual abstract Click to submit a panel proposal 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)…

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9th February 2021

Episode 5: The Humanist Blockbuster and the Evolutionary Epic with Dr Alexander Hall

In this episode, we welcome Dr Alexander Hall, who discusses his research into the popular media representation of science and religion in the 20th century. Dr Hall is a historian of science and environmental historian. He is a member of the Science and Belief in Society management team, and you can read his Researcher Profile here. Alex introduces us to ways of presenting science which…

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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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26th January 2021

Podcast Special: Pew Research Center

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash The Pew Research Center is a fact tank which focuses on issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. For example, they study U.S. politics and policy; journalism and media; internet, science and technology; religion and public life; global attitudes and trends and U.S. social and demographic trends. To carry out such research, the team at Pew Research conduct public opinion polling, demographic…

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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

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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