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Book Chapter

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Oxford University Press


From a scholarly perspective, we reasoned that our research examining the beliefs of scientists would provide insight into the major theoretical issues related to religious change and the impact of science on religion-and religion on science-in different national contexts. Our goal was to understand how science is related to ideas about secularization, or the decline of religion's vitality and influence, among scientists and societies. For policy makers and the general public, our research would reveal how national ideologies and policies related to religion affect scientists' work, and how this in tum might affect the way science is presented and implemented in their nations. We also wanted our research to increase understanding of how the personal religious views of scientists can shape their practice, dissemination, and interpretation of science, as well as how their scientific work can shape their religious views. Ultimately, where there is conflict between science and religion, we wanted our research to illuminate the root of this conflict. Does science destroy religious belief and authority? Does increased commitment to science really lead to decreased commitment to religion? How do views on religion affect how scientists approach research, teaching, and interactions with their colleagues, students, and the public? How many scientists see conflict between science and faith? Are there ways that scientists and religious communities can work together for the common good?

Chapter of

Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the Globe Really Think about Religion


Copyright © 2019 Oxford University Press. Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press. This material was originally published in Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the Globe Really Think about Religion by Elaine Howard Ecklund, David R. Johnson, Brandon Vaidyanathan, Steven W. Lewis, Kirstin R.W. Matthews, Robert A. Thomson Jr., Di Di. For permission to reuse this material, please visit

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Sociology Commons



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