Informal science learning (ISL) institutions such as science centers, zoos, and museums can reach communities underserved by formal science education and support inclusive public discourse about and participation in science. With ~7 in 10 U.S. adults self-identifying as religious or spiritual, many ISL Institutions have recognized the need to build stronger relationships with faith communities and to ensure their work is welcoming of diverse worldviews, including the faith perspective.
With that goal in mind, DoSER is collaborating with the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) and the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH)’s Human Origins Program to test a model for faith community engagement through science forums. This pilot project will:
- Improve the confidence and skills of ISL practitioners in engaging the broadly religious public.
- Create enduring relationships between ISL communities and local religious communities.
- Provide opportunities for faith community leaders to directly engage on forefront science issues.
- Recognize the importance of collaborative and inclusive discourse among scientists, ISL practitioners, and faith communities.