GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 285-3
Presentation Time: 8:50 AM


GREENBERG, Jeffrey K., Department of Geology and Environmental Science, Wheaton College, 501 College Ave, Wheaton, IL 60187,

Geoscience and all sciences need better approaches in communicating to various sectors of society. Weak performance on science-aptitude measures, political manipulation, and religious distortions are all issues that deflect the importance of scientific knowledge in modern life.

 Four recently and soon to be published books are notable as efforts bringing people of faith and scientists together, improving the insufficient state of mutual engagement with respect. The volumes, Grand Canyon, Monument to an Ancient Earth (Kregel Pub.) and GSA Special Paper 520, Geoscience for the Public Good and Global Development, are targeted toward religious (mostly Christian) and scientific populations, respectively. In the first book, religious geoscientists reach out to non-science people of faith with good examples of “orthodox” geology. In the GSA book, some of the articles are by religious geoscientists, reaching out to global colleagues and peers with examples of how faith can be a positive motivation for ethical practice.

 Two book projects in progress include one on a course bringing the best science on “origins” (Evolution, Abiogenesis, Earth and Solar System, Hominids, etc.) to Christian undergraduate students. The other volume will be a collection of diverse articles encouraging the STEM (especially ‘S’=science) vocations among young religious people. Unfortunately, the too-commonly perceived conflict between faith and science has been an obstacle in recruiting talented students into scientific disciplines, especially geoscience.

 The instrumental moral underlying these four initiatives, is that they come as scientists recognize a responsibility to combat the anti-science attitudes in the USA and beyond. Outreach needs to be considered a noble endeavor among our community members. Without efforts such as publishing important, non-academic books and articles, our passions and essential input from the science into culture will continue to be ignored or disdained.