A conference devoted to Catholics’ responses to various scientific issues,
featuring representatives of both the Catholic & scientific communities
Many today think that science and religion are incompatible. People often look to Galileo, the “father of modern science,”
as the model example to depict the relationship between the Church and science as one of conflict. Yet, despite
its missteps here, for which it has formally apologized, the Catholic Church has long been a proponent of the sciences.
How do contemporary Catholics in the US today understand the relationship between science and religion? To what
extent do they see faith and science as being compatible, in conflict, or completely independent? And how do the attitudes
of Catholics on various science-related issues, including those reproductive technologies the Church condemns
as immoral, compare to those of the general American public?
We address these questions by examining data from the largest study ever conducted on religious people’s views of
science: the Religious Understandings of Science (RUS) study, led by Prof. Elaine Howard Ecklund at Rice University.
The conference will include a presentation of the RUS data by Prof. Ecklund and Dr. Brandon Vaidyanathan. Panelists
who represent both the religious and scientific communities will respond.