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The Religiosity of Academic Scientists in the United Kingdom: Assessing the Role of Discipline and Department Status

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Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

Published online on


--- - |2 Abstract Studies examining the religiosity of academic scientists have often focused on comparisons with the general population, overlooking dynamics that could lead to religiosity differences within the scientist population. Expanding this literature, we present data from a survey of religiosity among scientists in the United Kingdom. We compare biologists and physicists employed at elite and nonelite departments, as past research has suggested that disciplinary and status divisions could be salient in understanding differences in scientists’ religiosity. We find that biologists in the United Kingdom are more likely than physicists to say they never attend religious services. Similarly, U.K. scientists in elite departments are more likely than those in nonelite departments to say they never attend religious services. We do not find significant differences between disciplines or status types for more private measures of religion. We argue that these patterns could result from perceived conflicts between public religious practice and meeting professional norms. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, EarlyView.