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A new initiative is proposed by the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion to provide a high-level of 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. The nation’s religion writers are often tasked with interpreting these discoveries, but often lack the technical proficiency in science and technology to do so effectively.
DoSER is proposing a one-year pilot project involving two activities, with the goal of establishing a baseline of interest in science reporting among religion writers and incorporating the lessons learned into development of a multi-year program.
First, DoSER will administer a one-day pre-conference program at the annual Religion Newswriters Association conference to highlight current topics in science and technology. Never in RNA’s 65-year history has its preconference focused on these topics, making this a landmark opportunity for AAAS and its partners. Second, DoSER will invite influential religion reporters to take part in the AAAS Annual Meeting, where they will gain access to forefront achievements in science. Because AAAS is the largest international scientific membership organization, this event features a plethora of world-renowned speakers and interesting symposia covering the interface of many branches of science with society.
Together these events will prove beneficial to the participants and will promote the mission of AAAS to advance science and serve society and the vision of the John Templeton Foundation to seek ways to deepen the understandings of the world around us.
As a pilot grant, the proposed activities will allow us the opportunity to investigate the successful aspects of the program, and ultimately the chance to extend the project for the future by submission of a full proposal that could involve more religion writers and media leaders.