top of page


Parallel session

Beyond cheerleading

4 July

14:00 to 15:10

STCC, Room 3BC

Science and religion: uneasy bedfellows or allies in science storytelling?

Will science make religion obsolete? Certainly not in the foreseeable future. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that the world’s population will still be dominated by people of faith by 2035 —with Islam being the fastest-growing religion. The relationship between religion and science is often an uneasy one, in areas as diverse as cosmology, evolution, climate change, stem cells, gene editing, and vaccination. People of faith sometimes reject long-established scientific facts, hamper medical interventions that could save lives, or seek to limit what scientists can study. As science journalists, we have to deal with religion, whether we like it or not, but often, religious perspectives are portrayed in simplistic, dismissive, or even condescending ways.

Should science journalists take religious perspectives into consideration? Should we try to win the hearts and minds of a religious audience? Can our own religion - if we have one - play a role in our reporting? To what extent can we 'compromise' with religion and superstition to get scientific facts and ideas across? In this session, journalists from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the US will detail their experience in reporting the intersection between science and religion.

bottom of page