Science & Religion Workshop: ECR/PhD Bursaries

May 26-28, 2015, York University, Toronto

The “Science vs. Religion debate” is a reoccurring theme in both media and scholarly discourse. Yet surprisingly there is a gap in current social science and humanities research into the nature of public domain discussions about the relationship between science and religion as a phenomenon in its own right. This multidisciplinary networking workshop will explore the social and cultural factors that have historically driven, and are currently driving, the narrative in the public domain that there is a necessary clash between religious belief and evolutionary science. We will bring together researchers from a range of intersecting disciplines and fields to discuss work relating to the following questions:
  • How widespread is the belief that it is irreconcilable to accept or practice evolutionary science and hold religious beliefs, and how has this belief developed?
  • What cultural, social and psychological processes might lead one to hold, or conversely disagree with, the view that there is an inevitable clash between evolution and faith, science and religion, or rationalism and belief?
  • Is the idea that there is a necessary clash between acceptance of evolutionary science and holding personal belief a majority or minority worldview, and does public domain discussion of this subject represent people’s real lived experience of the relationship between personal faith and acceptance of evolution?
  • How do these processes relate to wider questions about the role of religion and/or science in society?
  • What impact have scholarly debates concerning the secularization thesis and the so called ‘culture wars’ had on the representation of the relationship between science and religion?
  • How do different faith groups and non-believers engage with evolutionary science and STEM in general?

This workshop is part of a larger scale 3 year research project that will employ four intersecting approaches: qualitative social science field research; oral history, historical and media discourse analysis; social psychology experimental research; and a large scale quantitative survey of public perceptions, attitudes and identity formation, with initial studies taking place the UK and Canada.One aim of the project is to develop a field of research into the social and cultural context of contemporary perceptions of a clash between science and religion. We will therefore be looking to build a longer term network and field of research that brings together researchers from the social sciences and humanities, in US, UK and Canada, as well as media and science communication professionals, to revisit the assumptions that have previously been made about the intersection between science and faith in the public space.

This project workshop is funded by the Templeton Religion Trust, as part of the Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum project run by Newman University UK and York University Canada.

Early Career Researcher Bursaries:

We have a number of bursaries available for Canada based PhD students and Early Career Researchers to attend and participate in the Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum workshop. These bursaries will cover the cost of your registration, accommodation, all workshop meals and a significant contribution to some or all of your travel costs up to a value of $650 CAD.

‘Early-Career Researcher’ is defined as up to five years post-PhD (or equivalent taking into account career breaks for childcare etc.)

We welcome applications from researchers who are just starting to develop an interest in this field as well as those who existing research directly relates to the project content.

To apply for a Travel Bursary for the workshop at York University, Toronto please send a short 2 -3 page copy of your CV together with a statement of up to 300 words on why you are interested in attending the workshop and how your research intersects with its themes (see below for details) to:

The closing date for applications is: 16th April 2015

Call for papers

Deadline: April 16, 2015

Posted: March 23, 2015