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Kimberly Rios to discuss perceptions of science and religion at Feb. 7 Science Café

From staff reports | Jan 31, 2018
Kimberly Rios.
Kimberly Rios. Photo credit: Ohio University

More than 90 percent of Americans believe in God, and a large majority of religious believers in the United States identify as Christian. Yet Christians are severely underrepresented in scientific fields, relative to their proportion in the national population. Why is this the case, and why does it matter?

According to Kimberly Rios, associate professor of psychology at Ohio University, “Oftentimes, the reasons people think religious believers are underrepresented in science are quite different from the actual reasons. Understanding this issue is critical for broadening participation in related disciplines at a time when scientific literacy among the American public is woefully low."

In her upcoming Science Café, Rios will address common (mis)perceptions about the science-religion relationship and how such perceptions contribute to the lack of religious believers, especially Christians, in science. Rios will discuss common stereotypes about religious believers, religious non-believers, and scientists within the United States and the applicability of these stereotypes to non-Western religions and contexts, where perceptions of the science-religion relationship are very different. Throughout the discussion, Rios hopes to engage the audience in a discussion of the downstream implications for trust in science, scientific literacy and conflict between different religious (or non-religious) groups.

Join Rios for her Science Café, “Perceptions of Science and Religion in the U.S. and Beyond,” at 5 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 7, in the Baker Center Front Room Coffeehouse.

Science Cafés are part of Ohio University’s Café Series, Wednesdays at the Baker Center Front Room. The series provides a venue for students to informally share their interests during a conversational exchange with faculty presenters, staff and the Athens community. Free coffee is offered to the first 50 attendees, and participants who ask questions can win a free t-shirt.

The series is supported by the Ohio University Research Division and Sigma Xi.

Learn more! Watch the 1-minute Café Series video:


For the schedule of fall semester speakers and access to livestreaming of the event, visit http://www.ohio.edu/sciencecafe  and  http://livestream.com/ohiocas.