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Religion among Scientists in International Context: A New Cross-national Study of Scientists

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Abstract:

In eight regions around the world—France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States—with differing degrees of religiosity, varying levels of scientific infrastructure, and unique relationships between religious and state institutions—we examined how junior and senior biologists and physicists at top universities and research institutes approach religion. We created an overall sampling frame of 61,020 biologists and physicists and surveyed 22,525 of these scientists, of which 9,422 responded. We followed up with a subset of scientists to carry out 609 in-depth qualitative interviews. We have determined how scientists in different national contexts understand the relationship of science and religion, and how religion influences their research agendas, daily interactions with students, and ethical decisions and discussions. We find that, in most of the national contexts studied, scientists are indeed more secular—in terms of beliefs and practices—than the general population. We also find that scientists do not think science is a secularizing influence; instead, most think religion and science operate in separate spheres. Yet, for scientists in all nations—even the most secular—there are specific ways in which religion and science overlap. In each country, there are specific areas where the scientific community does conflict with local religious communities, especially in national contexts where an influx of immigrants introduces more traditional forms of religion. And in countries at the core of the global science infrastructure, science and religion overlap when religious scientists from non-western countries migrate to advance their careers.
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Name: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.asanet.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1121968_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Ecklund, Elaine., Johnson, David., Scheitle, Christopher., Matthews, Kirstin., Lewis, Steven. and Di, Di. "Religion among Scientists in International Context: A New Cross-national Study of Scientists" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA, Aug 17, 2016 <Not Available>. 2017-11-01 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1121968_index.html>

APA Citation:

Ecklund, E. H., Johnson, D. R., Scheitle, C. P., Matthews, K. R., Lewis, S. W. and Di, D. , 2016-08-17 "Religion among Scientists in International Context: A New Cross-national Study of Scientists" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA Online <PDF>. 2017-11-01 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1121968_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In eight regions around the world—France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States—with differing degrees of religiosity, varying levels of scientific infrastructure, and unique relationships between religious and state institutions—we examined how junior and senior biologists and physicists at top universities and research institutes approach religion. We created an overall sampling frame of 61,020 biologists and physicists and surveyed 22,525 of these scientists, of which 9,422 responded. We followed up with a subset of scientists to carry out 609 in-depth qualitative interviews. We have determined how scientists in different national contexts understand the relationship of science and religion, and how religion influences their research agendas, daily interactions with students, and ethical decisions and discussions. We find that, in most of the national contexts studied, scientists are indeed more secular—in terms of beliefs and practices—than the general population. We also find that scientists do not think science is a secularizing influence; instead, most think religion and science operate in separate spheres. Yet, for scientists in all nations—even the most secular—there are specific ways in which religion and science overlap. In each country, there are specific areas where the scientific community does conflict with local religious communities, especially in national contexts where an influx of immigrants introduces more traditional forms of religion. And in countries at the core of the global science infrastructure, science and religion overlap when religious scientists from non-western countries migrate to advance their careers.


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