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Science vs. Religion: What Religious People and Scientists Really Think about One Another and Why it Matters

  • Toy Lounge (4th Floor of Dey Hall) 200 South Rd Chapel Hill, NC 27514 (map)

Lunch with Dr. Elaine Howard Ecklund of Rice University

Many have heard the popular narrative that science and religion are irreconcilably at odds with one another.  But is this the way that leading scientists and people of religious faith actually see things?

Join us for a lunchtime lecture and conversation with Dr. Elaine Howard Ecklund of Rice University to explore this topic.

Dr. Ecklund is the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences, Professor of Sociology, and director of the Religion and Public Life Program at Rice University, where she is also a Rice Scholar at the Baker Institute for Public Policy

Her 2010 book, Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think presents the findings from the first systematic study of what scientists actually think and feel about religion. In the course of Elaine’s research, she surveyed nearly 1,700 scientists and then interviewed 275 of them.  This book was chosen by Times Higher Education as an international book of the week and named a book of the year on religion by The Huffington Post.  Her 2018 book Religion vs. Science: What Religious People Really Think  gives readers a concrete look at what religious Americans really understand and think about science and is based on a four year study of how religious people view science, the largest to date.

Dr. Ecklund has received grants and awards from organizations including the National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, John Templeton Foundation, Templeton World Charity Foundation, and Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. 

She received a Ph.D. in 2004 from Cornell University, where she was the recipient of the Class of 2004 Graduate Student Baccalaureate Award for Academic Excellence and Community Service. Today, she teaches classes at the graduate and undergraduate levels on research methods, immigration, sociology of science, classical sociological theory, and the sociology of religion. In 2013 she received the Charles Duncan Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. In 2018 she gave a Gifford Lecture at The University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Co-sponsored by the UNC Department of Sociology, UNC Department of Religious Studies, Intervarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministries, and The STEAM Project with Holy Trinity Lutheran Church +