Engaging Scientists in the Science and Religion Dialogue

Regardless of whether they spend their days in the classroom or at a lab bench, scientists interact with the public in some capacity. DoSER is developing resources to help scientists address the religious and ethical questions related to their work.
  • Date Published

    October 5, 2020

2 minute read
DoSER staff lead a workshop on science engagement with faith communities

DoSER staff lead a workshop on science engagement with faith communities | AAAS/Se Kim

AAAS DoSER’s Engaging Scientists In the Science and Religion Dialogue (“Engaging Scientists”) project supports scientists in becoming more effective ambassadors for themselves, their disciplines, and for science as a whole with diverse publics, and particularly with religious communities.

Regardless of whether they spend their days in the classroom or at a lab bench, scientists interact with the public in some capacity.  According to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey, most Americans identify as religious or spiritual. Therefore religion, as a central element of culture and identity, informs many peoples’ views on science and technology topics. The Engaging Scientists project draws on evidence-based practices and the science of science communication to help scientists develop strategies and skillsets for culturally and religiously inclusive public science engagement.

This project, led by Rob O’Malley and Rachel Kline, offers numerous publicly-available resources and holds workshops and other events at scientific society meetings and universities to help scientists engage with religious publics.

1. Profiles in Science Engagement with Faith Communities

DoSER spoke with a diverse range of practicing scientists and science communicators about engagement activities with religious communities. These scholars span a range of backgrounds, career stages, research fields, and interests, but their engagement activities share some common themes – in particular being strategic, being respectful, and being human. Click here to read the profiles!

2. Scientists in Civic Life: Facilitating Dialogue-Based Communication

This booklet, made in collaboration with the AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology, provides an overview of the science communication research, public perceptions of science, and strategies for encouraging fruitful dialogue about science and society. Download the booklet here.

3. Workshops and Events

The Engaging Scientists team, in collaboration with representatives from the AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology, regularly hosts workshops and other events at scientific society meetings and university campuses. These events help scientists develop toolkits for respectful, culturally sensitive, and fruitful dialogue about science with diverse and largely religious publics. Watch the recordings here.

Host or Attend a Workshop

[Scientists] need to engage the public in a more open and honest, bi-directional dialogue about science and technology.

Dr. Alan Leshner, former AAAS CEO

The Engaging Scientists project was created in consultation with the AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology.

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Learn More

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