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Science Engagement with Faith Communities

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Rd NW, Washington, DC

AAAS 2019 Annual Meeting

This session will occur at the AAAS Annual Meeting on Saturday, February 16, 2019 from 10:00 - 11:30 AM. To attend, please register at the AAAS Meetings website.


Many scientists seek to foster science curiosity, literacy, advocacy, and more inclusive STEM disciplines through public engagement beyond their classrooms and laboratories. Scientists, educators and science communicators can benefit from recognizing the relevance of the broader social context in which engagement occurs. For many people worldwide, including practicing scientists, the latter is influenced by faith. According to a 2015 Pew survey, a majority of Americans are strongly supportive of science, but also self-identify as religious and agree that religion is “somewhat” or “very” important in their lives. Despite popular media and cultural narratives that may frame science and religion in opposition, less than a third of Americans agree that they often experience such conflict in their own lives. In this session, presenters will demonstrate how engagement that is cognizant of community interests, culture, and faith can have a positive and sustaining impact at the intersections of science and society. The content will focus on opportunities, challenges, and best practices for science dialogue, particularly when this involves religious publics.


Robert O'Malley, AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion Program


Salman Hameed, Hampshire College


Rick Potts, Smithsonian Institution

Jame Schaefer, Marquette University

Fatimah Jackson, Howard University