I am now beginning my third national study of top university scientists, and from 2005 to 2008 I conducted the most comprehensive study to date of what scientists think about religion.....It turns out that nearly 50 percent of scientists identify with a religious label, and nearly one in five is actively involved in a house of worship, attending services more than once a month. ....It is also worth noting that scientists can be just as bad towards those with faith in a science setting. When Francis Collins, director of the NIH, was appointed to that position, many scientists protested that this esteemed and respected geneticist was unfit for office because of his Evangelical beliefs. I told you about my disgust at their protest here. Perhaps its time for everyone to "come out"!
Unfortunately, because of the controversy and conflicts surrounding the evolution-creation debate, stem cell research and other topics related to science and faith, most religious scientists do not feel comfortable talking about their scientific lives within their faith communities. They think discussing science within their house of worship might offend fellow parishioners who are not scientists. So they do not bring it up. Instead, they practice what I call "secret science." And everyone in the community loses out.
Yet, another poll shows that 25 percent of Americans think scientists are hostile to religion. In a country where most people have a religious identity, if a large proportion of the populace believes science is hostile to religion, our science education system is in serious trouble.
..... If we want students of faith to attend the nation's top universities and to succeed in America's top institutions, then we need to encourage them to thoughtfully examine modern scientific theories and dispel misconceptions and stereotypes about science. Scientists with faith could be bridges.
Scientists should not be required or compelled to leave behind their professional identities and ideas when they come to the altar.
OblDisclaimer: I was one of the scientists surveyed for her 2005-8 study.