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Do scientists see conflict between science and faith?


Join renowned specialist Prof Elaine Howard Ecklund for a fascinating account of crucial cultural factors found to shape the attitudes of scientists toward religion in different traditions. 

Can scientists help show us a way to build collaboration between scientific and religious communities?

To answer these questions and more, the authors of Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the World Really Think About Religion completed the most comprehensive international study of scientists’ attitudes towards religion ever undertaken, surveying more than 20,000 scientists and conducting in-depth interviews with over 600 of them.

From this wealth of data from the US, the UK, France, Italy, Turkey, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the authors extract the real story of the relationship between science and religion in the lives of scientists around the world. The book makes four key claims: there are more religious scientists than we might think; religion and science overlap in scientific work; scientists – even atheist scientists – see spirituality in science; and finally, the idea that religion and science must conflict is primarily an invention of the West.

Throughout, the book couples nationally representative survey data with captivating stories of individual scientists, whose experiences highlight these important themes in the data. Secularity and Science leaves inaccurate assumptions about science and religion behind, offering a new, more nuanced understanding of how science and religion interact and how they can be integrated for the common good.

Prof Elaine Howard Ecklund

Elaine Howard Ecklund is the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology at Rice University, as well as founding director of the Religion and Public Life Program. Ecklund is a sociologist of religion, immigration, and science who examines how individuals bring changes to religious and scientific institutions. She is the author of six books and numerous research articles and op-eds. Her most recent book is Why Science and Faith Need Each Other: Eight Shared Values That Move Us Beyond Fear (Brazos Press, 2020). She has received grants from the National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, John Templeton Foundation, Templeton World Charity Foundation, and Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Her research has been cited thousands of times by local, national, and international media. In 2013, she received Rice University’s Charles O. Duncan Award for Most Outstanding Academic Achievement and Teaching, and in 2018 she gave the prestigious Gifford Lectures in Scotland.

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Prof Elaine Howard Ecklund – Secularity and Science: A Cross-Cultural Perspective 

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