Rice’s Ecklund elected president of Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

Elaine Howard Ecklund, the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences and director of Rice’s Religion and Public Life Program, has been elected president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR). She will begin her one-year term next month.

Elaine Howard Ecklund. Photo by Jeff Fitlow.

Elaine Howard Ecklund. Photo by Jeff Fitlow.

SSSR is an interdisciplinary academic association that promotes social scientific research about religious institutions and experiences. The society fosters dialogue and collaboration among more than 1,000 scholars from sociology, religious studies, psychology, political science, economics, international studies, gender studies and many other fields.

Founded in 1949 as the Committee for the Social Scientific Study of Religion, the organization will celebrate its 70th year in 2019. The society’s flagship publication, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, is the most cited resource in the field.

As president, Ecklund picked the theme for SSSR’s next annual meeting, “Diversifying the Social Scientific Study of Religion: The Next Seventy Years.” One of her goals as president is to create a structure of mentoring and training among members. She also aims to increase the number of underrepresented minority scholars within the society.

Ecklund is interested in how individuals and small groups bring changes to larger institutions that constrain them. Her work explores this topic in relationship to religion, science, gender, race and immigration in different national contexts.

Ecklund is the author of more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and five books, the most recent of which is “Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the World Really Think About Religion.” More information on her work is available online at http://www.elainehowardecklund.com or at https://rplp.rice.edu/.

More information on the society is available online at https://sssreligion.org.

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.