For over 20 years now the Ecumenical Roundtable for Science, Technology and the Church has had a display table at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This year, when the AAAS held their meeting in Chicago in February, I had the privilege of helping to staff that display and talk with those who stopped by.
Things started off slowly on Friday morning, partially because of flights being canceled because of snow and ice, which delayed Jim Miller and much of the material from arriving on time. The surprising part was that the snow and ice canceling flights occurred in Charleston, South Carolina and not in Chicago! Jim, who is active in the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology and the Christian Faith has coordinated the Ecumenical Roundtables presence at AAAS for many years.
What made my time there so rewarding were the conversations with the people who came by the display. I spoke with high school students from the United States and around the world, with teachers, professors, research scientists and graduate students. It was great to be able to talk with them about their interests and concerns, and to be able to share with them materials from many different Christian groups involved in the dialogue between faith and science.
The Ecumenical Roundtable is comprised of the Episcopal Church Committee for Science, Technology and Faith, the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology, the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology and the Christian Faith, the United Church of Christ (UCC) Science and Technology Network and Wesleynexus (United Methodist Church). The display at the AAAS meeting is also supported by the American Scientific Affiliation, Biologos, the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Counterbalance, the Society of Ordained Scientists, the United States Council of Catholic Bishops and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science.
The Ecumenical Roundtable’s display was not the only science and religion presence at the AAAS meeting. I suspect many people do not realize it but the AAAS has a program on the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER). They offer some excellent programs and materials. Visit their website at http://www.aaas.org/DoSER.
Photo by Bruce Booher