Trajectories of (Non) Belief in the Scientific Community: The Case of Polish and Ukrainian Natural Scientists
Review of Religious Research
The article contributes to the discussion on the secularizing impact of science in modern societies. The starting point of the research is sociological data that shows lower religiosity of scientific communities in comparison to the general population in various countries. This might indicate that science does exert a secularizing force on modern ideologies. The explanatory hypotheses of this phenomenon are, however, ambiguous and predominantly concern Western countries. Based on 100 in-depth interviews with physicists and biologists from Central and Eastern Europe (Poland and Ukraine), it demonstrates the crucial role of cultural and historical context in the formulation of the (un)faith of the scientists. The scientific knowledge and participation in science as a social institution is more complementary than decisive in these processes, moreover, these factors play different roles in biographical trajectories of the Polish and Ukrainian natural scientists.