CfA: Being religious, being scientific: the dynamics of science and religion in the laboratory (4S Sydney 2018)

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4S Sydney 2018 

Call for Submissions to Panel: Being religious, being scientific: the dynamics of science and religion in the laboratory

We invite you to consider submitting paper abstracts to a panel on science and religion as part of the Annual Conference of the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S) in Sydney, Australia during August 29-September 1, 2018.

(Panel No. 30) Being religious, being scientific: the dynamics of science and religion in the laboratory

Panel organizers: Joseph Satish Vedanayagam, University of Hyderabad, India; Renny Thomas (Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi)

Submission deadline: February 1, 2018

While popular imagination of the relation between science and religion continues to be dominated by either “conflict thesis” or “complementarity thesis”, emerging scholarship in the social studies of science has brought to light the many ways in which science and religion interact. Anthropological studies have challenged the assumption that scientists should necessarily be atheists. Today, world religions and science co-exist in ways that have not been explored widely in the literature e.g. Jewish rabbis and scientists together determine what foods are kosher (ritually “pure”), and laboratories in India routinely launch research projects with a puja (ritual offering) to Hindu deities.

In this panel, we would like to discuss how science shapes, and is shaped by, religious beliefs, in an age of transnational ecological challenges, political upheaval and socio-economic turmoil. This panel would explore questions like (but not restricted to):

  • How do scientists negotiate their religious beliefs with their scientific careers (and vice versa)?
  • How do the products of scientific research transform the religious beliefs of consumers?
  • What are the consequences of religious ethics (and atheistic ideas) for developing research projects?
  • What role do national governments play in designing science policy that supports (or does not support) dominant religious doctrines?
  • What influences do religious leaders and organizations have on science?
  • What are the social implications of these factors for scientific practice and religious beliefs? 

In keeping with the theme of the conference "TRANSnational STS", we invite contributions from scholars all over the world, who have explored the above and related questions, from the perspectives of Science, Technology & Society Studies (STS), Religious Studies, History of Science and related disciplines, across local, national and transnational units of analysis.


Abstract submissions (upto 250 words) to our panel can be made at the conference website via: The abstract should contain the paper’s main arguments, methods, and contributions to STS and related disciplines.

You can find further information about the conference at
In case of any clarifications, please contact the panel organizers at and 

Please share this message with your networks far and wide, and we look forward to your submission to 4S 2018!