The Sciences

Are Top Scientists Really So Atheistic? Look at the Data

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyApr 13, 2010 8:14 PM


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Elaine Howard Ecklund is a sociologist at Rice University; we cited her work on the topic of science and religion in Unscientific America. Now, she is out with a book that is going to seriously undercut some widespread assumptions out there concerning the science religion relationship. The book, soon to be out from Oxford University press, is entitled Science vs. Religion: What Scientists R

. And let me give you just a taste of her answers, from the book jacket (I haven't dug in yet):

eally Think

In the course of her research, Ecklund surveyed nearly 1,700 scientists and interviewed 275 of them. She finds that most of what we believe about the faith lives of elite scientists is wrong. Nearly 50 percent of them are religious. Many others are what she calls "spiritual entrepreneurs," seeking creative ways to work with the tensions between science and faith outside the constraints of traditional religion.....only a small minority are actively hostile to religion. Ecklund reveals how scientists--believers and skeptics alike--are struggling to engage the increasing number of religious students in their classrooms and argues that many scientists are searching for "boundary pioneers" to cross the picket lines separating science and religion.

You can learn more about Ecklund's book here

, and order it here

. Incidentally, the universities whose scientists were surveyed for the book are: Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, Penn, U.C. Berkeley, UCLA, U. of Chicago, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, U. Michigan, U. Minnesota, UNC Chapel Hill, U. Washington-Seattle, U. Wisconsin-Madison, U.S.C., Washington University, and Yale.

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