Date and Time
Starts: January, 4 2020 12:030am
Ends: January, 20 2020 4:00pm
Hawaiʻi Convention Center,
1801 Kalakaua Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96815View on Map
Organized by American Astronomical Society
BioLogos board member Jennifer Wiseman will present “Astronomy Communication and Science Engagement with Religious Publics” at 235th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Honolulu, Hawaii.
“This workshop will assist attendees interested in building inclusion in the field of astronomy, and who seek to better understand potential tensions at the intersections of science and culture, including religion, in classrooms, laboratories, social media, policy discussions, or public settings. An individual’s worldview, including their religious beliefs and cultural background, can be a major element of their personal identity, and informs their sense of belonging in scientific contexts. Though faith is often perceived as a source of tension around science and technology topics, national polls suggest that most US adults express an interest in and enthusiasm for science and technology, and roughly ¾ claim a religious identity. Yet faith identity and spirituality are not always acknowledged as an element of inclusion in STEM fields, including astronomy. A recognition and respect of the importance of this aspect of people’s lives can be important for drawing and retaining highly capable people, including from underrepresented communities, into the discipline.Furthermore, debates within and beyond the astronomy community – on topics ranging from the site of the Thirty Meter Telescope, to the ethics of space exploration, to the potential for light pollution in the night sky from commercial satellites – highlight the need for thoughtful, socially responsive science engagement with diverse publics. Facilitators will lead participants through an overview of why it is important to consider culture, worldview and identity (including faith) in science engagement with students and broader public audiences. Participants will review and discuss strategies, examples, and best practices for constructive dialogue, including ideas shared from astronomers familiar with public engagement. The workshop will include moderated discussions and a small-group exercise to respond to a challenging question or scenario with peers. While the focus of the workshop is on engagement with religious publics around astronomy, the content is relevant and applicable to effective science education and communication with a broad range of audiences. This workshop was developed in a collaboration between the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program and the AAAS Center for Public Engagement on Science and Technology. Refreshments will be provided.”