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Engaging Scientists in the Science and Religion Dialogue

UMBC is one of six universities nationwide selected to host the “Engaging Scientists in the Science and Religion Dialogue” project, administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER). DoSER was established to facilitate communication between scientific and religious communities, understanding that these communities overlap. No matter your background, it can present specific challenges to communicate your work effectively to diverse groups of people. And yet, communicating the value of science to all is so important if we are to “advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.”

UMBC’s “Engaging Scientists” events will be held March 25 – 26, 2019, and will be open to the entire UMBC community. Learn more in this UMBC News story.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Open house: Taking the pulse of the UMBC community
11 a.m. – 2 p.m., The Commons Main Street
Stop by Main Street in The Commons to share a brief message about your thoughts on the intersection of science and faith and get the dialogue started with your peers. Staff will be available to help facilitate conversation.

Workshop for Scientists: Science communication and engagement with religious publics
Noon – 4 p.m., Library 7th Floor
Are you involved in public science engagement, or thinking about it? Are you interested in promoting dialogue about science with a broader spectrum of individuals and communities? Are you concerned about effectively navigating potential tensions at the intersections of science, culture, and faith in your classroom, your laboratory, on social media, in policy discussions, or in public settings? Then this workshop is for you. Learn more and register here.

Public Panel: Science engagement and dialogue with faith communities
5:30 – 7 p.m., University Center Ballroom
Open to the public, followed by a reception. Panelists, below, include four leaders active in work at the intersection of science and faith. They are scientists who personally practice a range of faiths and bring a rich set of stories around how their own experiences have influenced their work. Register here.

Directions for off-campus guests: The University Center Ballroom is centrally located on campus, on the third floor of the University Center, in square F5 on the campus map. Parking will be available for off-campus visitors in the Administration Garage, in square H6 on the map. General directions to campus are available here.


Rabbi Geoff Mitelman
Rabbi Mitelman founded Sinai and Synapses, an organization with expertise in constructive discourse on science and society topics with religious communities. He was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Religion and Jewish studies. Rabbi Mitelman led the congregation of Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester for seven years, and his writing on the intersection of religion and science has appeared widely.

Dr. Pamela Payne-Foster
Dr. Payne-Foster is a preventive medicine/public health physician who is an associate professor in the Department of Community and Rural Medicine and deputy director of the Institute for Rural Health Research at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa Regional Campus. She has expertise in community health partnerships with churches and other faith communities.

Dr. Altaf Saadi
Dr. Saadi is a neurologist and fellow at the National Clinical Scholars Program at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she focuses on promoting healthcare leadership in health policy, health services, and community-partnered research. Dr. Saadi is a scientist of faith, and she is active in social justice and science-informed advocacy in the public sphere.

Dr. Caitlin Schrein
Dr. Schrein is strategic communications editor at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a science communicator specializing in anthropology and evolution. Her doctoral research examined the relationship between human evolution education and students’ interest in science and their decision-making about social issues with a scientific basis, such as climate change. She particularly focused on life sciences pedagogy that is sensitive to students’ culture, faith, and worldview.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

From Eve to Evolution: Examining the Role of Women in Religion and Science
12 – 1 p.m., Mosaic Center
As part of the Mosaic Center’s “How to be a better ally” series, this session will discuss the role of women in science and women in religion, the similarities of challenges faced by these groups, and how we can create conditions that support women in science and religion.

STEM Living Learning Community facilitated discussion

5 – 6 p.m., Patapsco Hall classroom

Discussion led by Sarah Hansen, STEM communications manager, and Lucie Blauvelt, STEM LLC coordinator. Light snacks will be provided. All are welcome; you need not have attended the panel (although it’s encouraged) or be a member of the STEM LLC to join this conversation.

Meyerhoff Scholars, Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows, and McNair Scholars facilitated discussion
5 – 6 p.m., Meyerhoff Chemistry Building Room 120
Discussion led by Jason Ashe, Meyerhoff Graduate Fellow in psychology, Michael Hunt, assistant director of the McNair Scholars Program, and Adam Holden, Ph.D. student in psychology. They are looking forward to conversing with you on a topic that is important to them. This event is open to Meyerhoff- and McNair-affiliated community members.