What is the purpose of this research?

The purpose of Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum is to build a better understanding of how scientists and members of the general public view the relationship between evolution and religion, and by extension science and religion. For the study we will be looking at a range of topics, including what people believe and how those beliefs are formed, perceptions of science, experiences of prejudice or discrimination, and views on public debate about science and religion. The research is being carried out by a team based at Newman University and York University, Toronto, with ethical approval from both universities, and is funded by the Templeton Religion Trust.

What is the purpose of the pre-screening survey?

We are developing a database of interested participants for research regarding people’s attitudes towards and beliefs about religion and science. By filling out our ‘pre-screening’ survey, you are indicating your interest in participating in future studies, and agreeing that researchers may contact you for future studies that you qualify for, based on your answers to the questions in this survey. Answers to pre-screening survey questions will also be used to investigate people’s attitudes about religion and science.

Do I have to take part?

No. Participation in this research project is entirely voluntary.

What do I have to do?

If you agree to participate in the research project, please indicate that you consent to take part, and that you have read the information provided here, on our pre-screening site. By completing the questionnaire you are indicating your interest in being contacted to take part in future studies that will either be on-line or face-to-face. We will give you full details of these studies if and when you are invited to take part.

What are the benefits of taking part?

By participating in this research pool, you will be contributing to new, cutting-edge research, which will enable us to build a better understanding of public perceptions of science and belief. You will also be entered each month into a prize draw for an Amazon voucher worth £50. This will take place at the beginning of each month and will include all people in the participant database at that time. One individual will be selected at random from the SONA Systems database and will be contacted by a member of the research team. In order to be included in the draw, you do not need to participate in any of the studies that are being conducted for this project, but you will need to submit your details via the questionnaire so you can be contacted.

What are the risks associated with this project?

All of the research will be anonymized during data analysis and your details will not be shared with any third parties or made public during subsequent publications or research dissemination.

Can I change my mind about taking part?

Yes. You can change your mind about participating in the study at any time. If you would like to withdraw and have your information deleted from our system, please email sres.admin.sona@newman.ac.uk.

What will happen to the details I provide?

All data collected will be submitted over a secure on-line connection and only the survey administrators at SONA Systems and members of the research team at Newman University and at York University, Toronto, will have access to your personal details. Personal information, including contact details, will never be disclosed to third parties. The software used to collect data, SONA, encrypts all communication between users and the software using industry-standard SSL technology. SONA Systems comply with all EU Data Protection regulations. Full details about the company’s data security and privacy policy can be found at the following address:

http://www.sona-systems.com/privacy.aspx

All data that could be used to directly or indirectly identify you will be destroyed at the end of the project and only anonymised data will be retained.

What if things go wrong?

Any complaints about this research project should be directed to the project’s Principal Investigator, Dr Fern Elsdon-Baker, at Newman University (F.Elsdon-Baker@newman.ac.uk).

What will happen with the results of the study?

The results of this study will be used to:

  1. Develop a ‘pool’ of research participants who can be contacted for future research opportunities if they meet qualifications specified by the researcher (e.g., demographic variables, religious and/or scientific belief variables).
  2. Data from the ‘prescreening’ questionnaire will be analysed to help design and contribute to future studies.

Who has reviewed this study?

This study has been peer-reviewed by the Templeton Religion Trust and has been cleared by research ethics panels at York University, Toronto, and Newman University, Birmingham, UK.

Further information

If you would like more information about the project, please visit our website: http://sciencereligionspectrum.org/ or email admin@sciencereligionspectrum.org.

You can also contact us at the following address: Dr Fern Elsdon-Baker, Newman University, Genners Lane, Bartley Green,
 Birmingham, B32 3NT.