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The Religious Beliefs of Scientists - a Sociological Analysis

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From 2005-2009 Rice University sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund completed the most comprehensive study to date of how US scientists at top universities understand religion, spirituality, and ethics, surveying nearly 1700 of them and doing in-depth interviews with 275. During the Faraday lecture she will discuss her book on this topic, Science Vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think (Oxford University Press). She will compare this work with recent interviews she has completed among biologists in the UK. Finally Ecklund will discuss a new study she is beginning that will survey 10,000 biologists and physicists at different points in their careers at top universities and research institutes in the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Italy, France and China to determine how scientists in different national contexts understand the relationship of science and religion (and, where relevant, spirituality) and how religion and spirituality influence their research agendas, daily interactions with students, and ethical decisions and discussions.

This talk is part of the The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion series.

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