Posted October 16, 2018 09:06:14A new approach to religion in science, medicine, and technology might be the best way to improve our understanding of the relationship between religion and science.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced this week that it is working with the private sector to create a nonprofit corporation to support religious education in science and engineering.
The nonprofit, the National Center for Science Education, will work with the National Science Foundation to fund and support research on religious-based science and education.
“We think it’s a really important opportunity to have a private entity, private sector organization, to develop, to build on, and to leverage the expertise of religious educators,” said Dr. David B. Stokes, director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
“We think that would be a really powerful and productive way to provide the education that we all need.”
While there are still many gaps in our understanding, scientists have made strides in understanding the connection between science and religion, and many scientists and religious leaders have praised the effort.
The Center for Applied Religion at Georgetown University’s Divinity School, for example, has produced a study that concluded that religious teachers are much more effective at teaching science to students than secular teachers.
The study found that a majority of religious students said they understood more about science than their secular counterparts.
“Science is not only about facts,” said Stephen R. Smith, an associate professor of religious studies at Georgetown Divinity School and the co-author of the study.
“It’s about our relationship to the universe, to our fellow human beings, to the nature of God.
It’s also about our role in creating the world we live in.”
While the study found the effectiveness of religious science was comparable to secular science, there are some challenges.
While the study focused on science teaching, it did not take into account religious practices such as meditation and worship.
“Religious practices and religious teachers may not always be comparable,” Smith said.
“The science education community should not forget that.”
The National Science Education Center will also focus on expanding access to science education, and will work to increase research in the field.
“The Center will focus on the need for more research on the role of religion and religion in education and how it can help to foster a more inclusive scientific community,” said Stokes.
“This work will contribute to the growth of religious education across the country and in our global communities.”