Elaine Howard Ecklund, the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology at Rice University, researches how individuals in different social domains develop ways of interpreting the world that are at odds with their institutional locations. As part of the Religion among Academic Scientists study, Ecklund examined approaches to religion and spirituality among natural and social scientists at elite universities in the United States and concluded that most of what we believe about the faith lives of scientists is wrong. Different from the cold rationalists the public often imagines them to be, many scientists actively seek sources of spirituality to further explore the purpose of their lives. The results of this study appear in the 2010 book Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think. Over the last few years, Ecklund’s research has examined how scientists in eight different national and regional contexts understand religion and ethics. In addition, through a cooperative project with the American Association for the Advancement of Science Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion program, she studied how six different U.S. religious groups understand science.
- 2017 – Religion vs. Science: What Religious People Really Think (with Christopher P. Scheitle). New York, NY: Oxford University Press
- 2010 – Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think. New York, NY: Oxford University Press
- 2016 – “Religion among Scientists in International Context: A New Study of Scientists in Eight Regions,” (with David R. Johnson, Christopher P. Scheitle, Kirstin R. W. Matthews, and Steven W. Lewis) Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, 2:1-9.
- 2016 – “Rejecting the Conflict Narrative: American Jewish and Muslim Views on Science and Religion,” (with Brandon Vaidyanathan, David R. Johnson, and Pamela Prickett) Social Compass, 63(4):478-496.
- 2016 – “Narrating and Navigating Authorities: Understandings of the Bible and Science Among Evangelical and Mainline Protestants,” (with Esther Chan) Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 55(1):54-69.
- 2015 – “Individual Religiosity and Orientation towards Science: Reformulating Relationships,” (with David R. Johnson and Christopher P. Scheitle) Sociological Science, 2:106-124.
- 2012 – “Missing Data in Sociological Research: An Overview of Recent Trends and an Illustration for Controversial Questions, Active Nonrespondents and Targeted Samples,” (with Jeremy Porter) The American Sociologist, 43(4):448-468.
- 2011 – Atheists and Agnostics Negotiate Religion and Family” (with Kristen Schultz Lee). Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 50(4): 728-743.
- 2011 – “Scientists Negotiate Boundaries Between Religion and Science” (with Jerry Z. Park and Katherine L. Sorrell). Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 50(3): 552-569.
- 2011 – “Scientists and Spirituality,” (with Elizabeth Long) Sociology of Religion, 72 (3): 253-274.
- 2010 – “But for the Grace of Genes,” (with Conrad Hackett), The Scientist, 24(4): 29.
- 2009 – “Conflict between Religion and Science among Academic Scientists?” (with Jerry Z. Park). Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 48(2):276-292.
- 2009 – “Constructions of Religion and Spirituality in the Daily Boundary Work of Pediatric Physicians,” (with Wendy Cadge and Nicholas Short). Social Problems, 56(4):702-721.
- 2009 – “Prayers in the Clinic: How do Pediatric Physicians Respond?” (with Wendy Cadge) Southern Medical Journal, 102(12): 1218-1221.
- 2008 – “Secularization and Religious Change among Elite Scientists: A Cross-Cohort Comparison” (Jerry Z. Park and Phil Todd Veliz). Social Forces, 86(4): 1805-1840.
- 2008 – “Religion and Spirituality among Scientists” Contexts: Understanding People in their Social Worlds, 7(1):12-15.
- 2008 – “The Spiritual and Religious Identities, Beliefs, and Practices of Academic Pediatricians in the United States,” (with Elizabeth A. Catlin and Wendy Cadge, Academic Medicine, 83: 1146-1152.
John H. Evans has written two books that examine moral debates between scientists and theologians that culminated in the field now known as bioethics (2002, 2012), and a third book about moral debates surrounding reproductive genetic technologies (2010). His latest book, published with Oxford University Press and titled What is a Human?, examines what ordinary Americans think a human being “is”—and, the impact of these views on attitudes toward human rights. In recent years, he has written a number of journal articles examining the religious public’s view of science. He is also working on a project that examines the spread of metaphysical naturalism in academia and society more broadly.
Selected previous publications on religion and science:
- 2016 – What is a Human? What the Answers Mean for Human Rights. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- 2012 – The History and Future of Bioethics: A Sociological View. New York, NY: Oxford University Press
- 2010 – Contested Reproduction: Genetic Technologies, Religion, and Public Debate. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press
- 2002 – Playing God? Human Genetic Engineering and the Rationalization of Public Bioethical Debate. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
- 2014 – “Faith in Science in Global Perspective: Implications for Transhumanism.” Public Understanding of Science 23 (7): 814-832.
- 2013 – “Conservative Protestantism and Skepticism of Scientists Studying Climate Change” (with Justin Feng). Climatic Change 121 (4): 595-608.
- 2013 – “Growing Social and Moral Conflict Between Conservative Protestantism and Science.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 52 (2): 368-385.
- 2012 – “Sociology and Christianity,” pp. 344-355 in the Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity (with Michael Evans). Edited by James Stump and Alan Padgett. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
- 2011 – “Epistemological and Moral Conflict Between Religion and Science.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 50 (4): 707-727.
- 2010 – “Arguing Against Darwinism: Religion, Science, and Public Morality,” pp. 286-308 in The New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion. Edited by Bryan Turner. New York, NY: Blackwell. (With Michael S. Evans)
- 2008 – “Religion and Science: Beyond the Epistemological Conflict Narrative” (with Michael S. Evans). Annual Review of Sociology 34: 87-105.
- 2003 – “A Brave New World?: How Genetic Technology Might Change Us.” Contexts 2 (2): 20-25.