Elaine Howard Ecklund is the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences, Professor of Sociology, and director of The Religion and Public Life Program at Rice University, where she is also a Rice Scholar at the Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Over the past several years, Elaine’s research has explored how scientists in different nations understand religion, ethics, and gender. To that end, with John Evans of University of California San Diego, Ecklund launched the Network for the Social Scientific Study of Science and Religion (N4SR) in 2011. Her latest book is Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the World Really Think About Religion with David R. Johnson, Brandon Vaidyanathan, Kirstin R.W. Matthews, Steven W. Lewis, Robert A. Thomson Jr., and Di Di.
Elaine is the author of four books with Oxford University Press, one book with New York University Press, and over 70 research articles and op-eds. She has received grants and awards from organizations including the National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, John Templeton Foundation, Templeton World Charity Foundation, and Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Her book, Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think, was chosen by Times Higher Education as an international book of the week and named a book of the year on religion by The Huffington Post.
She received a Ph.D. in 2004 from Cornell University, where she was the recipient of the Class of 2004 Graduate Student Baccalaureate Award for Academic Excellence and Community Service. Today, she teaches classes at the graduate and undergraduate levels on research methods, immigration, sociology of science, classical sociological theory, and the sociology of religion. In 2013 she received the Charles Duncan Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. In 2018 she gave the Gifford Lecture at The University of Edinburgh in Scotland.