Annual Conference, 2019

Thursday 4th July – Saturday 6th July 2019

Edgbaston Park Hotel, Birmingham, UK.

Organised by the Science and Belief in Society Research Group at the University of Birmingham (UK) this is the first conference launching the new, International Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society.

Open registration for non-speaking delegates to attend the conference at a heavily subsidised rate is now open, click here for more information.

INSSBS-Program-2019-07-03

A copy of this programme can be downloaded here. For a full list of participants, titles and abstracts please click here.

In the last decade there has been significant growth in social scientific scholarship on science and religion, complementing the more established historical research into the subject. Greater attention is being paid to the varied ways in which perceptions of science are influenced by religious and non-religious belief, identity, community and conflict in different geographical, cultural and historical contexts. The purpose of this international conference is to bring together researchers with backgrounds in sociology, science and technology studies, psychology, political science, history, social anthropology, and related humanities or social science disciplines to discuss perspectives on the overarching topic of science and belief in society.

Conference themes:

  • The social scientific and historical study of the relationship between science and religious and/or non-religious belief and identity;
  • Public perceptions of the relationship between science, religion and non-religion and their respective roles in society;
  • National and international comparative perspectives on the study of science, religion and belief in society;
  • Past and present media or popular representations of science, religion and belief in society;
  • The past or present roles of science, rationalism, religion and belief in national, social or cultural identity and related geopolitical narratives;
  • Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of science, religion and non-religion in society;
  • Methodological approaches to, and issues in, the study of science, religion and belief in society;
  • Avenues for future research and developments within the social scientific and historical study of science, religion and belief in society;
  • Public policy research relating to any aspect of public policy that intersects with issues connected to science, religion and belief in society. Including studies on the impact of publics’ views on science and religion on policy making, and provision for religious, spiritual or non-religious communities across a range of geographies and issues (e.g. healthcare provision, educational policy, science policy, environmental policy or development);
  • International studies of religious or spiritual communities’ perspectives on the intersection, and possible relationships, between science and religion over time.

We are interested in papers that relate to any aspect of STEMM in society (science, technology, engineering, medicine, and mathematics) and that discuss any religious, spiritual or non-religious tradition, position or worldview, including unbelief.

Keynote papers will be given by historian Professor Peter Harrison (more info here), Australian Laureate Fellow and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland (Australia), and psychologist Professor Cristine Legare, associate professor of psychology and the director of the Evolution, Variation, and Ontogeny of Learning Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin (USA).

Should you have other questions about the conference please contact the conference co-ordinator Dr Harris Wiseman at h.wiseman@bham.ac.uk

The conference is supported by the Templeton Religion Trust and is being held as part of the activities of the newly established International Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society, based at the University of Birmingham. For more information about the network please contact Dr Alexander Hall (A.F.Hall@bham.ac.uk).