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Our Project


NeverOffTopic is part of the LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion) Project.

The LASAR Project

LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion) was set up in 2009 as a collaborative project between the Institute of Education, Reading University and the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion (based at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge) and is now based at Canterbury Christ Church University.

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, we 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, this runs the risk of them missing out on interesting and fulfilling careers as well as science science to be denied great scientific minds!


The aims of this project

LASAR is looking at this issue from two complementary directions. We are conducting research which will help us find out more about exactly what school children do think about science and religion, something of the factors which they feel influence their views, and how their ideas shift over time.

We also have a website, www.epistemicinsight.com, with curriculum materials and approaches which can support teachers in engaging children in the area of science and religion. Currently the website has an extensive range of materials for secondary schools and we are now developing materials for primary schools.

In this way we hope to make sure that there are sufficient accessible and balanced presentations to help pupils to recognise that this is a nuanced area where there are no simple answers (so scientists hold a wide range of faith positions and views on religious matters), and offer them interesting resources to stimulate their own thinking in this area.


For more details about our findings

We have a website that reports regularly on the findings of our research.


Website Design

Our website was designed by ThinkNoodle Ltd

Our website artist is Rory: www.roryroryrory.com

© 2011 LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion)