Science, Ethics, & Religion 101
The AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program has hosted events, run workshops, and created a variety of resources that provide examples of best practices on how to engage at the intersection of science and religion. The most important thing to remember is that those with different beliefs than you are not as different from you as you might expect! We are all someone’s family member, friend, colleague. Whether it’s the food we eat, the buildings where we live and work, or the technology used to read this webpage, science affects our daily lives. And we all consider the ethical implications of our actions and in scientific findings when we ask question such as, “is there life on other plants, and what does that mean for our place in the universe?” “Are there better and faster ways to warn people about incoming natural disasters?” And, “in a global pandemic, once a cure is found, who should receive it first?”
After you’ve taken the leap to begin your first conversation, DoSER recommends three key practices for engagement. First, be human. As mentioned above, most people have something in common. Find a shared value, concern, or common ground that can allow you to connect and start the conversation. Second, listen and be willing to participate in a dialogue. Reflect critically on what they say. Who knows, you might learn something as well! Finally, be respectful. Even if you disagree with what the other person is saying, try to understand where they are coming from rather than seeking to simply change their mind.