This one-year project is proposed by the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) to provide science-focused professional enrichment for religion reporters. Religious communities comprise a large fraction of the U.S. population, and scientific advances produce both excitement and concerns within these communities. Religion journalists are often tasked with interpreting these discoveries but may lack the technical proficiency in science and technology to do so effectively.
This initiative builds upon DoSER’s successful annual projects, which have proven that offering opportunities for religion reporters to immerse in the world of science is desirable, sustainable, and valuable, resulting in broad public reach through the more than 50 science-related stories produced by project participants since its inception.The project includes 2 primary activities that provide these reporters with first-hand exposure to science and scientists.
First, DoSER proposes sponsoring a program at the annual Religion News Association (RNA) conference to highlight current topics in science and technology, perhaps focusing on the latest research into Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. This program builds on our previous RNA programs (the first ever science preconference in RNA’s history in 2015, attended by more than 60 religion reporters, and a shorter 2016 presentation). Second, DoSER will administer a program that invites up to four influential religion reporters to attend the 2018 AAAS Annual Meeting, where they will gain access to forefront science achievements, where they will have access to a plethora of world-renowned speakers and interesting symposia covering the interface of many branches of science with society.
Together these events will benefit the participants, promote the mission of AAAS to advance science and serve society, and support the vision of the John Templeton Foundation to seek ways to deepen understanding of the world around us.