Practicing Science, Living Faith: Interviews with 12 Leading Scientists

Edited by Philip Clayton and Jim Schaal
Columbia University Press, 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0-231-13576-4ISBN-10: 0-231-13576-9

Twelve scientists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines demonstrate that it is indeed possible for profound intellectuals to integrate the life of science with the life of faith. In honest and inspiring interviews, they describe the difficult though rewarding process of reconciling their faith with their science and reveal the ways in which the two spheres can not only coexist but also mutually enhance each other.

Jane Goodall begins the conversation by emphasizing the importance of recognizing the "spark of spirit" that runs through all creatures, human and animal. Robert Pollack discusses his motivations for opening a major center for the study of science and religion at Columbia University. Khalil Chamcham, a Moroccan astrophysicist and devout Muslim, moves from the study of galaxy formation to a new dialogue between Islam and the West. Thomas Odhiambo, a Kenyan entomologist, helps to bring sustainable agriculture to sub-Saharan Africa by uniting African animist and Christian traditions, and Henry Thompson, a computer scientist, utilizes his Quaker practice in both his science and his work as a mediator.

Thoughtful and compelling, these and other scientists recount a rich integration of science and religion in their practice, their experience, and their approach to their work. Some find a deep harmony between the life of faith and the practice of science, whereas others struggle with the ongoing tensions. These original interviews range across the metaphysical, ethical, and religious implications of cutting-edge research. Taken together, they offer a unique picture of how scientists make peace with their work and their spirituality.

Foreword, by William D. Phillips
Preface, by W. Mark Richardson
Introduction, by Jim Schaal and Philip Clayton

1. Jane Goodall
2. Hendrik Barendregt
3. Khalil Chamcham
4. Donna Auguste
5. Ursula Goodenough
6. Thomas Odhiambo
7. Faraneh Vargha-Khadem
8. Pauline Rudd
9. Satoto
10. Paula Tallal
11. Henry Thompson
12. Robert Pollack

Conclusion, by Philip Clayton