AAAS Hosts Holiday Event: What Do Scientists Believe?

AAAS is sponsoring an important event pegged to the Holidays.  Details are below and readers in Washington, DC can register to attend the event at the AAAS Web site.

As I've written, the proportion of scientists who are religious is often greatly underestimated in popular discussion and this has profound implications for public engagement around key policy debates such as the teaching of evolution.

What Do Scientists Believe? Religion Among Scientists and Implications for Public Perceptions

Please join us for a lively discussion about the religious beliefs of scientists and the implications for dialogue between the scientific and religious communities. Rice University sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund will describe her recent major study of scientists, and NPR religion correspondent Barbara Bradley Hagerty will consider the results in light of the media’s coverage of science and religion and her own experiences in engaging with the public.

Sponsored by

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion and Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology.

December 15, 2010

5:30 — 6:30 p.m. Holiday Reception, 1st floor

6:30 — 8:00 p.m. Lecture and Discussion, 2nd floor

AAAS Headquarters

12th and H Streets NW

Washington, DC 20005


Elaine Howard Ecklund, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Director, Religion and Public Life Program, Rice University, and Author, Science Vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think, Oxford University Press, 2010


Barbara Bradley Hagerty, NPR Religion Correspondent, and Author, Fingerprints of God: In Search of the Science of Spirituality, Riverhead Hardcover, 2009

See also:

Nisbet, M.C. & Scheufele, D.A. (2009). What's Next for Science Communication? Promising Directions and Lingering Distractions. American Journal of Botany, 96 (10), 1767-1778. (PDF).

Pew Survey of Scientists & the Public: Implications for Public Engagement and Communication

Sagan: Framing shared values between science & religion

At Point of Inquiry, Communicating about Science & Religion

AAAS Panel: Communicating Science in a Religious America

At AAAS, a Focus on the "New Atheist Confessional"

The Scientist Delusion? Nature Column on AAAS Panel

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Why the ocean you know and love won’t exist in 50 years

Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?

  • Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
  • The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
  • If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Keep reading Show less
Image source: Topical Press Agency / Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Though we know today that his policies eventually ended the Great Depression, FDR's election was seen as disastrous by some.
  • A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
  • Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
Keep reading Show less

Health care: Information tech must catch up to medical marvels

Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.

Photo: Tom Werner / Getty Images
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
  • Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
  • As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
Keep reading Show less