Dan Bolger – Graduate Student, Rice University
Dan Bolger is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at Rice. He graduated from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2013 with an M.A. in mental health counseling and an M.A. in Christian studies. He also has a B.S. in psychology from John Brown University. He is currently studying faith-based social service provision, and his research interests include social inequality, religion, race relations, and qualitative methods.
Rebecca Catto is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Kent State University. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Exeter in the UK. Her research interests include science and religion, non-religion and secularity, world Christianity, and interfaith dialogue. She has also published articles on youth and religion and state-religion relations. She has been a Co-Investigator on ‘Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum’ (SRES), running 2014-2017 and funded by the Templeton Foundation, and is also pursuing collaborative, cross-disciplinary work on religion and education in Canada and the UK.
Esther Chan – Graduate Student, Yale University
Esther Chan’s interests include religion, morality, and gender. Chan earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and a minor in Greek literature from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 2012, graduating summa cum laude and as a Provost Scholar, an award given to the top six graduates. She completed her post-baccalaureate research fellowship at Rice University, where she assisted research examining the intersections between science and religion in international contexts, ethics among scientists in international contexts, and religious understandings of science. She is currently a graduate student in sociology at Yale University.
Di Di earned a bachelor’s degree in law from Tongji University in 2012 and is now a PhD candidate in the sociology department at Rice University. Her research interests include immigrants’ religiosity, religions in China, race, and ethnicity. She is currently studying the conversion of Chinese and Indian immigrants to Christianity.
Justin Farrell is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His work focuses on environment, politics, morality, and religion. He completed his PhD in Sociology at the University of Notre Dame in 2013.
Silke Guelker received her doctoral degree (Dr.phil) in Political Science from the Free University in Berlin, Germany. She has been working in the field of science studies for many years and is interested in the relationship between science and religion from a sociology of science perspective. In her current research project she is conducting ethnographic fieldwork in two stem cell research labs, one in the United States and one in Germany. The study focuses on the question of whether the religio-cultural background of researchers affects collaborations in an international team.
Jeff Guhin received his PhD in Sociology from Yale University in 2013. His first book, forthcoming from Oxford University Press, is a comparative ethnography of two Sunni Muslim and two Evangelical Christian high schools in the New York City area with a special focus on science and religion in the classroom. He is actively pursuing projects examining creationism in Christian and Muslim contexts.
Jonathan Hill – Assistant Professor, Calvin College
Jonathan P. Hill is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Calvin College. He is author of Emerging Adulthood and Faith (Calvin College Press, 2015) and coauthor of Young Catholic America: Emerging Adults In, Out of, and Gone from the Church (Oxford, 2014) and The Quest for Purpose: The Collegiate Search for a Meaningful Life (SUNY, 2017). He has published articles and book chapters on higher education and religious faith, volunteering, and charitable giving. He also directs the National Study of Religion and Human Origins, a project that explores the social context of beliefs about human origins.
David R. Johnson completed his PhD in sociology at the University of Georgia in December 2011. Johnson is a sociologist of work whose research agenda focuses primarily on the professional and organizational contexts of science. In studies of conflict between science and commerce, science and religion, and work and family, Johnson theoretically examines inter-institutional conflict through the lens of workers’ experiences and interpretations of their work. His present research includes a study of science outreach at elite universities, studies of the religion and science interface, and studies of the interorganizational and professional contexts of the commercialization of academic science.
Tom Kaden is a postdoctoral research fellow in the research project Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum which is based at York University in Toronto, and Newman University in Birmingham. He conducts semi-structured interviews with Canadian life scientists and members of the general public to find out more about peoples’ perceptions of the relationship between science and religion. His recent book on creationism and anticreationism in the United States (in German) has been awarded dissertation prizes by the Universities of Leipzig and Heidelberg.
Simranjit Khalsa – Graduate Student, Rice University
Simranjit Khalsa completed a B.S. in Sociology and Planning, Public Policy, and Management at the University of Oregon in 2013. She is interested in how people negotiate religious difference as well as the growth of new religious movements. She completed a departmental thesis in sociology entitled “Resolving Religious Difference: Christians and Non-Christians in Intimate Relationships” through which she explored the beliefs of partners in such relationships, the religious differences between partners, and the extent to which those differences affected their relationship.
Jaime Kucinskas is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Hamilton College. Her research interests span sociology of religion, social movements, science, organizational and cultural change, and inequality. Her work centers on how people mobilize for, as well as resist, change within and across organizations and fields. She also studies spiritual experiences across different settings. Kucinskas is the author of The Mindful Elite: Mobilizing from the Inside Out (Oxford University Press, 2019) and has published in journals such as the American Journal of Sociology, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Sociology of Religion.
David E. Long – Assistant Professor, Morehead State University
David E. Long holds a PhD in the Study of High Education from the University of Kentucky. His primary research follows two tracks. One focuses on the cognitive, social, and philosophical dimensions of student and teacher understanding of evolution, climate change science, and genetic engineering. Another examines how political and religious ideology mediates science education implementation in schools, universities, and in the civic discourse. His work appears in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Cultural Studies of Science Education, Ethnography &Education, and Anthropology and Education Quarterly. He is author of Evolution and Religion in American Education: An Ethnography (Springer).
Marcus Mann – Doctoral Candidate, Duke University
Marcus Mann is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology at Duke University. He has a B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst and M.A.’s in Religious Studies and Sociology from Duke. He has research interests in religion, knowledge, social movements, culture, and politics and is currently working on his dissertation which combines experimental, qualitative, and computational methods to examine partisan asymmetries in engagement with misinformation on social media.
Shiri Noy is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Denison University. Her research interests are in political culture, globalization, and development. She is currently working on projects that explore public perspectives on science and religion, both in the United States and cross-nationally using nationally representative cross-national data.
Kathleen (Casey) Oberlin is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Grinnell College. She completed her PhD at Indiana University. Her research interests include religion and science as sources of cultural authority, social movements, and the built environment. She examines why we attribute legitimacy to some group’s claims rather than others. While a lot of scholarship is dedicated to why this happens in particular historical moments, in her work she develops a ‘place and space’ perspective in order to examine not only the sources of social change, but also the physical sites where this activity occurs and why those locations matter. Her current book manuscript, Creating Conflict: Why the Creationists Built a Museum, is based on over three years of fieldwork completed at the Creation Museum in Kentucky built by Answers in Genesis, an organization tied to the broader Young Earth Creationist movement.
Timothy L. O’Brien is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His research examines how publics in the United States and elsewhere perceive science and religion. He is currently working on projects that focus on the sources of racial, ethnic, and gender divides in views of science and religion as well as cross-national variation in attitudes about science and religion.
Rachel Schulder Abrams Pear – Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Haifa
Rachel S. A. Pear received her B.A. from Columbia College, her M.A. from Hebrew University, and her PhD from Bar Ilan University. Her dissertation, written within the rubric of the Graduate Program in Science Technology and Society (STS), analyzed American Jewish receptions of Darwinism in the 20th century and into the 21st. Rachel is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Haifa investigating how evolution is being taught in Israeli schools.
Jared Peifer received his PhD in sociology from Cornell University in 2011 and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the sociology department at Rice University. Now an assistant professor of management at Baruch College, his expertise in economic sociology and sociology of religion inspires his focus on morality in the economic sphere. In particular, he focuses on economic phenomena that includes a moral dimension, such as socially responsible investing, charitable giving and anti-consumerism. He also focuses on the relationship between religiosity and attitudes toward the natural environment.
J. Micah Roos – Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech
J. Micah Roos is an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Tech. His research interests include knowledge, science, religion, culture, stratification, measurement, and quantitative methods. Dr. Roos’ primary research program examines truth claims in contested areas of knowledge in the United States, such as human evolution, and spillover effects to related but uncontested areas of knowledge. He is currently developing a new instrument to measure uncontested science knowledge in the United States, and is developing general tools to aid in scale creation and validation. He holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Chris Scheitle received his Ph.D. in sociology from Penn State University. Broadly, his research examines the social structure and dynamics of religion in the United States, with a focus on three specific areas. The first explores the relationship between religion and science. A second examines innovations in how religion is organized in the United States, especially in regards to the growth of so-called parachurch organizations. The last area of research looks at crimes against religious congregations. He has published two books, over two dozen scholarly articles, and has been awarded two research grants from the National Science Foundation. His research has also been featured in a number of media outlets, including USA Today, CNN.com, ABC News, The Huffington Post, DiscoverMagazine.com, LiveScience.com, ScienceDaily.com, and the Research on Religion podcast.
After completing a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Kansas, Lukas Szrot accepted a position at Bemidji State University. His dissertation research analyzes the historical relationship between religious group identity and environmental concern in the United States. He is also interested in environmental justice, public understanding of science, the role of social networks in fostering—or stymieing—strict religious belief.
Brandon Vaidyanathan is an associate professor at the Catholic University of America. He was formerly a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Religion and Public Life Program and the Department of Sociology at Rice University. His first book (currently under review) examines how corporate professionals in rapidly globalizing cities such as Bangalore and Dubai negotiate boundaries between work, consumption, and religion.
M. Alper Yalcinkaya – Assistant Professor, Ohio Wesleyan University
M. Alper Yalcinkaya received his PhD in Sociology and Science Studies from the University of California, San Diego, and is currently Assistant Professor of Sociology at Ohio Wesleyan University. His research focuses on contemporary and historical debates about science, religion, and morality, with an emphasis on the Muslim world. He is also interested in the historiography of science and religion in non-Western societies. In his forthcoming book, Yalcinkaya analyzes the discursive representations of science and religion in the 19th century Ottoman Empire, and the relations between the Ottoman debate on science and the construction of Ottoman citizenship. He is currently working on a project on the representations of science and scientists in 20th century Turkish conservative discourse.