The Faithful Scientist
Experiences of Anti-Religious Bias in Scientific Training
- ISBN: 9781479823710
- Published By: NYU Press
- Published: October 2023
Reveals biases within scientific PhD training programs against emerging scientists who embrace a religious faith and the ramifications for science
Science is often viewed as antithetical to religion, and it is true that scientists, particularly those who work at universities, are generally much less religious than the average American adult. So what is it like to be a religious individual pursuing an advanced education and career in science?
Featuring engaging interviews and survey data from over 1,300 PhD students in the natural and social sciences, The Faithful Scientist shows that the core challenge is not contending with contradictions between faith-based beliefs and scientific knowledge. Instead, it is the bias budding scientific practitioners face from their colleagues if they are religious.
These dynamics are important for science as a field, and ultimately for those who engage with or benefit from the results of scientific research. There are real benefits to fostering diversity in science, which may lead to more useful discoveries for populations who have generally not been the focus of research. And women, Black, and Latina/o people tend in general to be more religious than their white male peers, meaning that diversifying the gender, ethnic, and racial composition of the scientific workforce likely requires diversifying the religious composition too. This book offers vital empirical data that provide insight into what it means to support and foster religious diversity in science.