Brandon Vaidyanathan is an associate professor of sociology at The Catholic University of America. Born and raised in the Arabian Gulf, he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in management from Canada and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Notre Dame. His research examines cultural dimensions of religious, commercial, medical, and scientific institutions, and has been published in journals such as Social Problems, Social Forces, Sociology of Religion, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, and Journal of the American Academy of Religion.
Sociology of Religion
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How Thinking About Religion Can Increase Racial and Gender Diversity in Science (2021 AAAS Annual Meeting)
There is a national, even international, effort to diversify the scientific workforce. Women and minorities, especially Black and Hispanic Americans, are massively underrepresented in science. They are also much more likely than other groups to be religious. Many Americans assume that scientists are hostile toward religion, in part because highly vocal atheist scientists in the public sphere perpetuate this view, which hurts access to science for Black and Hispanic Americans in particular.
Religion can bring about tension in the workplace, yet also instill a sense of calling and meaning in work. This panel discussion addresses the topic of religion and work as it applies to medicine, teaching and the business world. Because Houston is the most ethnically diverse city in the nation, this topic is especially relevant to local institutions and businesses grappling with a rapidly changing workforce.
In this lecture on October 5, 2020, three of the authors of Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the World Really Think About Religion (Oxford University Press 2019) discussed core findings from the largest and most comprehensive international study of scientists' attitudes toward religion, gender, and ethics ever undertaken, including a survey of 20,000 scientists and in-depth interviews with over 600 of them.