Translating Data, Visualizing the Nation: How Quantitative Data Helped Envision Modern India 

Filter by:
9th July 2024

Posthuman Imaginaries of Sustainability

Çağdaş Dedeoglu In the face of escalating global sustainability challenges, ranging from extreme weather events to the sixth mass extinction and the increased exploitation of more-than-human beings, the limitations of anthropocentrism have become stark. Our planet shakes on the edge of ecological collapse, underscoring the need for innovative frameworks that extend beyond human interests to encompass the intricate web of life that sustains us all. It is within this context…

Read more
14th May 2024

Lived Experience of Daoist Practices: Mysticism, Science, and Embodied Spirituality 

Job Chen The convergence of science and religion presents numerous pathways for exploration. One such avenue involves the application of scientific methodologies, such as observation and measurement, to delve into the individual experiences within religious traditions. Throughout history, mysticism in religions has primarily been examined through philosophical lenses, with a focus on textual analysis to extract meaning from written records. However, some Eastern traditions may not prioritize textual studies or…

Read more
16th April 2024

Commemorating Darwin: Global Perspectives on Evolutionary Science, Religion and Politics 

By Joel Barnes and Ian Hesketh By the time Charles Darwin died on 19 April 1882, he had become a scientific celebrity, widely known for his studies of evolution that many believed transformed the way humans understood themselves in relation to the natural world. Since then his memory, and his celebrity, have been reshaped and rewritten many times over in different social, scientific, religious and political settings. We have had…

Read more
28th February 2024

Translating Data, Visualizing the Nation: How Quantitative Data Helped Envision Modern India 

By Sayori Ghoshal In 2022, I began working on an INSBS-funded grant project on the impact of race science and statistics on religious and caste identities in colonial India. Under colonial rule, Indian scientists had rejected the claim that Europeans were racially superior to Indians. However, they had not dismissed race as a scientific object. Instead, from the 1920s, Indian scientists had sought to measure the extent of racial mixing…

Read more
5th December 2023

Science, Spiritualism, Stereoscopy: The Spectacular Photographs of ‘Margery’ Crandon

By Dr. Emma Merkling In late 2022 I began working on an INSBS-funded grant project on the scientific testing of the spiritualist medium Mina ‘Margery’ Crandon in Boston, c. 1925. ‘Margery’ was arguably the best-known medium in America at the time, having been made famous by a series of investigations into her mediumship initially funded by the popular magazine Scientific American. These investigations were conducted in Margery’s Boston home by…

Read more
1st November 2023

The Cover That Wasn’t To Be

By Dr. Thoko Kamwendo I am busy putting together an edited collection of essays that take an STS approach to the study of science and religion, funded by the INSBS. As many of you know, there are several parts to creating an edited volume, including making tricky decisions about the cover.   I recently received options for the front cover of the volume from Palgrave who will hopefully publish it sometime…

Read more
A Black & White profile image of Adam Shapiro
29th September 2023

S3 Episode 9: Emerging Trends in the History of Science and Religion with Dr Adam Shapiro

In the final episode of the season, James and Will are joined by Dr Adam R. Shapiro, an historian of science, whose work focuses on public understandings and misunderstandings of science and the relationship between science and religion. Adam provides an overview of some of the emerging trends in the history of science and religion and situates his own work within this wider disciplinary movement. The discussion ranges from…

Read more
A black and white profile image of Dr Carissa Sharp and Dr Carole Leicht
3rd August 2023

S3 Episode 8: Psychology of (non)Religion with Dr Carissa Sharp and Dr Carola Leicht

In the penultimate episode of the season, Will and Rebecca are joined by Dr Carissa Sharp, Assistant Professor in Psychology of Religion in the School of Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham, UK and Dr Carola Leicht, Reader in Organisational Behaviour at the University of Kent, UK. Carissa and Carola discuss their almost decade-long collaboration, using social psychological methods to explore questions of science-religion conflict and how…

Read more
A black and white image of Renate Ysseldyk and Emily Tippins
5th July 2023

S3 Episode 7: Religious Identity, Political Orientation and Vaccine Attitudes with Dr Renate Ysseldyk and Emily Tippins

In this episode Will is joined by a new co-host Dr Rebecca Hughes, a social psychologist at the University of Birmingham. Will and Rebecca welcome Renate Ysseldyk, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada specializing in Social and Health Psychology, and Emily Tippins, a PhD student at the University of Ottawa, who recently completed her Masters of Science working with Renate…

Read more
A black and white profile picture of Professor Amy Adamczyk
20th June 2023

S3 Episode 6: Abortion, Religion & Liberalism with Professor Amy Adamczyk

In this timely episode James and Will welcome Amy Adamczyk, Professor of Sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Amy discusses her sociological exploration of attitudes towards abortion, in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), and the role that religious and other socio-demographic factors play in shaping these attitudes. Amy presents the results of a comparative quantitative…

Read more
22nd May 2023

S3 Episode 5: Science and Religion in Argentina with Professor Reynaldo Rivera, Dr Arturo Fitz Herbert and Sol Barbera

In this episode James and Will welcome Professor Reynaldo Rivera, Full Professor in the School of Communication and Design, post-doctoral researcher Dr Arturo Fitz Herbert and researcher Sol Barbera from Austral University (Argentina). Reynaldo, Arturo and Sol discuss there work as project partners on the Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum of Global Perspectives project, which sees teams of researchers in eight countries investigate the relationship between science and…

Read more
4th April 2023

S3 Episode 4: STS and Religion in Conversation with Dr Thokozani Kamwendo, Dr Caroline McCalman, Dr Will Mason-Wilkes & Dr James Riley

In this episode James and Will welcome Dr Thokozani Kamwendo, post-doctoral researcher at Durham University, and Dr Caroline McCalman, post-doctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham, for a roundtable discussion on the relationship between scholarship in Science & Belief and Science & Technology Studies (STS). Thoko is the editor of a collection exploring this relationship, with Caroline providing a single-authored and co-authored contribution. As well as hosting the podcast, both…

Read more
21st February 2023

S3 Episode 3: Science and Meaning: From ‘Cultured Meat’ to the March for Science with Dr Neil Stephens

In this episode James and Will welcome Dr Neil Stephens, Associate Professor in Technology and Society at the University of Birmingham. Neil discusses his interest in meaning-making in and around science. This includes his 15+ year study of ‘cultured meat’; the processes of its scientific and technological development, how religious authorities have been involved in these processes, and the broader epistemological, ontological and sociological implications cultured meat raises. We go…

Read more
a black and white picture of Bernie Lightman
13th December 2022

S3 Episode 2: Reflections on the History of Science & Religion with Prof. Bernard Lightman

In this episode (our first recorded in-person) we talk with distinguished historian of science Professor Bernard Lightman. We discuss his wide-ranging contributions to the historical study of science and religion, from his early work on the origins of agnosticism, to his views on more recent shifts and trends in the field – and the differences between T.H. Huxley and Richard Dawkins.  (This episode was recorded in October 2022)…

Read more
a profile picture of Hauke Riesch
31st October 2022

S3 Episode 1: The End of the World with Dr Hauke Riesch

The Science & Belief in Society Podcast is back – but for how much longer? In this opening episode of Season 3, James and Will welcome Dr Hauke Riesch, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Brunel University, London, to talk about the end of the world… Narratives of the apocalypse – stories of how the world will end, and humanity’s fate before, during and after these variously prophesied cataclysms,…

Read more
A 19th century script of the opening verse of the Qur'an written in the Sudani Script
20th September 2022

Making sense of Qur’anic school preference in West Africa

The challenges of secular bias and ontological injustice in scientific theories of educational decision-making Dr Anneke Newman, Université Libre de Bruxelles The remit of the INSBS is to study the relationships between ‘science’ and ‘belief’ in society. Yet what if the very conceptualization of these terms—and the tools social scientists have at their disposal to study these dynamics—were far from neutral, but instead privilege secular ontology and epistemology, leading…

Read more
a black and white portrait photograph of Mareike Smolka
5th July 2022

S2 Episode 9: Measuring Meditation – the Study of Contemplative Science with Mareike Smolka

Religious practices and their effects are increasingly the subject of scientific investigation. In the field of Contemplative Science, mediative practices drawn from Buddhist traditions are united with techniques of analysis from cognitive and neurosciences. In this episode, James and Will welcome Mareike Smolka, a PhD Researcher at Maastricht University in Science and Technology Studies and Fullbright Scholar at Arizona State University, who has ethnographically explored this community. Mareike’s…

Read more
14th June 2022

S2 Episode 8: Science and Colonial Legacies in East Africa with Professor Adam Chepkwony

In this episode, Richard and Will talk with Professor Adam Chepkwony, a Full Professor of Religion at the University of Kabianga in Kenya. Professor Chepkwony’s work covers a wide range of topics including African Religion, Inter-religious Dialogue, Science and Religion, and more. In this episode, Professor Chepkwony provides his perspective on how issues like climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have affected, and are perceived by, people in Kenya.

Read more
1st June 2022

S2 Episode 7: Science and Islam in the 19th Century with Dr Sarah Qidwai

In this episode, Rachael and Richard talk with Dr Sarah Qidwai, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Regensburg, Germany. Sarah’s work explores transnational and local perspectives on scientific disciplines during the long nineteenth century. In this episode, we discuss the focus of Sarah’s doctoral thesis, the Muslim polymath Sir Sayyed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898), and her latest project entitled ‘Scientism and Empire’ while examining how disciplines such as…

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

S2 Episode 6: Science Scepticism around the World with Dr Bastiaan 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 Bastiaan Rutjens, who investigates public attitudes to science around the world, with…

Read more