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

The Religion and Public Life Program has continued to be part of the global dialogue on science and religion. From 2019 until 2022 we are sponsoring Communicating Outlooks for a New Global Religion and Science Synergy: The Engagement Challenge (CONGRESS II), an extensive effort to examine the religious identities of scientists and their views of spirituality and that spans, and is based on, 8 years of data collection and builds on two of our previous projects:

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 dialogue around, the relationship between science and religion. 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 bethany.boucher@rice.edu for questions or more information.

Events

Events

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

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


Upcoming Events

Why Scientists Need to Talk about Religion to Address Race and Gender Disparities in Science

When: October 5, 2020 from 3:30 – 4:30 pm (CST)

To ensure the safety of attendees and staff, this event will take place online via Zoom.

In this lecture, three of 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, and Brandon Vaidyanathan, will discuss 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 argue that scientists need to talk about religion and understand religion’s impact on society to increase racial and gender representation in science. The lecture will also include an opportunity for speakers to answer questions submitted by attendees.

Registration will open in August 2020.

This event is co-sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program.

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

Books

Books

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.

Not All Atheists Are New Atheists

Not All Atheists Are New Atheists, authored by Elaine Howard Ecklund and David R. Johnson, explores the varieties of atheism by closely examining the lived subjective experiences of a wide range of atheist scientists using their own voices and narratives, thus shining a light on their true views about religion, spirituality, belief, faith, purpose, and meaning. This book is designed to help both scientists and the general public, by using a systematic, empirical, research-based social scientific approach to understand the real nature of atheism in the science community. Release date TBD with Oxford University Press.

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.