How can science and religion relate?

lasar flyerLASAR (Learning about Science and Religion), set up in 2009, seeks to explore new ways to discover and advance students’ and the wider public’s reasoning about science and religion.

The University of Reading is closely involved in its projects, with a significant number of staff working on the LASAR team. Now LASAR is hosting a highly relevant conference for all interested in science, religion, education – or all three.

Some people believe that science and religion are necessarily opposed and compete for the same territory. The pervasiveness of this conflict – in schools and among the wider public – is underpinned by various factors. This conference will discuss why the conflict is so prominent and will showcase research and activities designed to support students’ and the wider public’s understanding of the ways that science and religion relate.

Date: Friday 28th October

Time: 9.30 am- 5.30 pm

Location: University of Oxford, Department of Education, 15 Norham Gardens, OX2 6PY

The conference will be beneficial for:

  • Science teachers and educators
  • RE teachers and educators
  • Researchers in education
  • Academics
  • Postgraduate and undergraduate students studying related subjects

Registration is now open here

LASAR Rationale

The LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion) Project was set up in 2009 in collaboration with the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge.

The LASAR Project was motivated by a concern that there is a strong public perception (reinforced by some popular media) that science and religion are in some sense opposites, that is that science is an atheistic activity.

In particular, they were concerned that school pupils may come to accept this as a normative standard: something that is both incorrect, and which could deter students who hold a religious faith from considering science as a suitable basis of future study and career.

Such an effect would not only be unfortunate when there is widespread concern about the limited numbers of young people seriously considering science careers, but in principle could set up a self-fulfilling prophecy. If people of faith are significantly deterred from science, then science could over time become dominated by atheists.

Colleagues from the University of Reading and its Institute of Education have enjoyed a significant input into LASAR, including:

  • Dr Mehdi Nassaji
  • Martha Pipkin
  • Dr Alessia Costa
  • Dr Keith Chappell
  • Dr Manzoor Abedin
  • Zoe Knapp
  • Helen Newdick
  • Lucy Timms
  • Peter Williams
  • Chris Hatcher
  • Emma Newall

For more information about the conference please get in touch at


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