the last decade, there has been significant growth in social scientific
and humanities research focusing on science, religion and belief in
society. Greater attention is being paid to the varied ways in which
perceptions of different aspects of STEMM subjects (science, technology,
engineering, medicine, and mathematics) have been, or are, influenced
by religious and non-religious belief, identity, community and conflict
in different geographical, cultural and historical contexts.
this field of research has grown it has engaged in myth busting popular
perceptions and stereotypes about the relationship between science and
religion, which treat both science and religious/spiritual populations
as monolithic. To date, much of this foundational research has focused
on North American contexts or debates. This conference seeks to build on
this essential work and address future avenues for research within the
social scientific and historical study of science, religion and belief
in society to examine the practical implications and applications of
research in this field. Expanding the geographical focus, the conference
will encompass a range of issues at global, or local levels around four
PUBLICS: Diverse (non)religious publics’ engagement with, and perceptions of, STEMM
PRAXIS: Issues relating to religion and (non)belief in scientific research or STEMM communication practices
Public policy analysis, exploring concerns with the development of, or
implementation of, policy connected to STEMM, and religion or belief in
PLURALISM: Research on STEMM in pluralistic or religiously diverse societies.
conference will bring together international 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.
are pleased to invite submissions of papers that relate to any aspect
of STEMM in society (science, technology, engineering, medicine, and
mathematics), that discuss any religious, spiritual or non-religious
tradition, position or worldview.
Abstracts are invited for the conference relating to the following themes
Public engagement with STEMM in pluralistic or religiously diverse societies;
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;
past or present roles of science, rationalism, religion and belief in
national, social or cultural identity and related geopolitical
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;
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
or panel session submissions may cross over several of the themes
listed above, and those intending to submit papers are encouraged to
consider the relevance of their work to other academic disciplines.
Individual paper submissions
submit a paper proposal, please write a title and abstract of no more
than 300 words, alongside a biographical note of no more than 200 words
Panel session proposals
will also be accepting a limited number of panel proposals with a
maximum of four speakers. To submit a panel proposal, please send a
session summary of no more than 250 words, alongside abstracts of no
more than 300 words for each individual paper and a short biography of
no more than 200 words for each contributor.
all submissions, please send a biography of no more than 200 words for
each contributor, including name, institutional affiliation, email
address, primary discipline or subject area, a statement regarding
career stage (e.g., early career, mid-career), and if possible a link to
a personal profile on an institutional web page or similar.
Biographies of successful applicants will be added to the International
Network’s Research Directory when
our new website launches in early 2020. Please indicate on your
application if you would like to opt out of being added to the Research
submissions should be made online, on this website. The submission form
will be on the home page from 1 January 2020 and must be completed no later than Tuesday 14 January 2020.
prior to submission you have any questions about your panel or paper
proposal please contact the network co-ordinators Professor Fern
Elsdon-Baker (University of Birmingham) and Dr Alexander Hall
(University of Birmingham): A.F.Hall@bham.ac.uk.
All abstracts and panel proposals must be submitted online by the end of 14 January 2020.
Conference Costs and Bursaries:
note that for all successful applicants, accommodation and registration
costs will be paid for by the International Research Network for the
Study of Science and Belief in Society, as part of a 3-year grant from
the Templeton Religion Trust.
addition to this, a number of bursaries and honoraria are available to
support those who may not have institutional funding to attend
international conferences, including but not limited to: postgraduate,
early career, retired, low income/unwaged, or any researcher who may not
ordinarily be able to access institutional funds to attend
note, we also have a number of specific bursaries and spaces
specifically for researchers who are currently based in South Africa or
other African countries. Finally, we have some limited bursaries to help
cover the costs of any other needs associated with attending the
conference (e.g. contributions towards child/dependent care costs
incurred through conference attendance).
request a bursary or any additional support, when submitting your
abstract, please complete the additional box on the online submission
form, giving a short statement of why you would like to be considered
for one of the bursaries.
Early Career Workshop
Please note that
we will be running a fully-funded early career workshop in the days
prior to this conference, but this will be announced and advertised via a
For more information contact Dr Alexander Hall.
Abstract submission opens: 1 January 2020
Deadline for online submissions (abstracts, panels & bursaries): 14 January 2020
Decision notification/registration opens: 21 January 2020
Registration deadline for presenters: 28 February 2020
conference is supported by the Templeton Religion Trust and is being
held as part of the activities of the newly established International
Research Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society, based
at the University of Birmingham (UK).