Tensions between religion and science are not new. Today, many people assume that scientists are athiests, but little is actually known about their religious and spiritual views. To learn more, Elaine Howard Ecklund conducted a study of religion among scientists. She explores the results of the study in the 2008 Contexts feature “Religion and Spirituality Among Scientists.” Below are a few questions to accompany the article.
1) Does the finding that scientists often hold religious views surprise you? Would you assume it varies by discipline? Why or why not?
2) Why do you think a greater proportion of scientists are atheists than the general population?
3) Considering that 69% of social scientists surveyed identified as spiritual, how might you explain a reluctance to discuss religion in an academic setting?