Communicating Outlooks for a New Global Religion and Science Synergy: The Engagement Challenge (CONGRESS II)

The global dialogue on science and religion is rife with myths, misconceptions, and misinformation. This engagement initiative remedies that by providing scientists, thought leaders, and the public with the empirically based evidence from the largest international study of scientists’ attitudes towards religion, gender, and ethics ever undertaken, including a survey of 20,000 scientists and in-depth interviews with over 600 of them, that they need to answer critical questions about, as well as engage in informed discussion around, the relationship between science and religion. This project is part of an extensive effort by the Religion and Public Life Program to examine the religious identities of scientists and their views of spirituality that spans, and is based on, 8 years of data collection and builds on two of our previous projects:

Through this project, we will take our findings and put them back into the hands of the scientists that we studied. Designed to advance and expand understanding, dialogue, and consequential research on science and religion around the globe, this initiative will employ and implement a series of strategic lectures and workshops in seven different national contexts. We are also widely disseminating our research findings through two books as well as an array of Op-Eds and essays to broaden the reach and impact of our findings. See below for more information about our past and upcoming lectures, workshops, and publications.

CONGRESS II is funded by a grant from the Templeton Religion Trust (TRT0203) and led by Elaine Howard Ecklund (PI) and David R. Johnson (co-PI).

Please contact Bethany Boucher at for questions or more information.



The goal of these events is to share our findings with a broad range of scientists through data-driven lectures as well as engage deeply in dialogue around the science-religion interface through workshops with a group of strategically selected thought leaders. We hope that these events will expose participants to new information and ideas that might lead to change.

Lectures and workshops will be held in Hong Kong, India, the U.K. (Oxford and Cambridge), the U.S. (Boston and Washington, D.C.), and Mexico.

Upcoming Events

Science and Religion: Why Hong Kong and Taiwan Are Different

When: September 23, 2021, 9:00 am HKT (September 22, 2021, 8:00 pm CT)

This event will be hosted virtually via Zoom. In this lecture, Elaine Howard Ecklund, David R. Johnson, and Di Di will present 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. They will explore the nuances of what scientists think about religion and spirituality across different national contexts, the ways scientists in Hong Kong and Taiwan are distinct in how they define and understand religion, and the impact of religion on gender representation in scientific communities. The lecture will also include an opportunity for attendees to submit questions for a Q&A session moderated by Di Di.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the University of Hong Kong’s Faith and Science Collaborative Research Forum.

To register, visit:

To learn more about past events, click "EVENTS" in the related content menu below.



Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the World Really Think About Religion

Do scientists see conflict between science and faith? Do scientists in other countries view religion and faith differently? To answer these questions and more, the authors of Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the World Really Think About Religion (Oxford University Press 2019), Elaine Howard Ecklund, David R. Johnson, Brandon Vaidyanathan, Kirstin R.W. Matthews, Steven W. Lewis, Robert A. Thomson Jr., and Di Di, completed a comprehensive international study of scientists' attitudes toward religion. From this wealth of data, the authors uncovered the real story of science and religion. Many scientists – even atheists – see spirituality in science, and the idea that religion and science conflict is primarily an invention of the West.

Click here to purchase a copy of the book.

Varieties of Atheism in Science

Many in the public around the globe think that all scientists are atheists and that all atheist scientists are New Atheists, militantly against religion and religious people. But what do everyday atheist scientists actually think about religion? Drawing on a survey of 1,293 atheist scientists in the U.S. and U.K., and 81 in-depth interviews, this book explains the pathways that led to atheism among scientists, the diverse views of religion they hold, their perspectives on the limits to what science can explain, and their views of meaning and morality. The findings reveal a vast gulf between the rhetoric of New Atheism in the public sphere and the reality of atheism in science. The story of the varieties of atheism in science is consequential for both scientific and religious communities and points to tools for dialogue between these seemingly disparate groups. Published on August 2, 2021 with Oxford University Press.

Click here to purchase a copy of the book.

Other Publications

Other Publications

Publications from this project aim to broaden the reach and impact of our findings beyond scientists and academics as well as expand empirically based dialogue on science and religion. They will cover a variety of themes from our research.

To learn more, click "PUBLICATIONS" in the related content menu below.