The Emerging Scholars Network, as a “digital first” initiative of InterVarsity’s Graduate and Faculty Ministry, has always encouraged our members to engage in local, in-person communities, including the many student and faculty groups connected with InterVarsity across the country. If you want to find a local group, go to our “Find a Community” page. Our partners with the American Scientific Affiliation also host a network of local chapters across the country for Christians in the Sciences. We are grateful to Dana Oleskiewicz, Director of Chapters and Affiliates with the ASA for this article profiling the opportunities for engagement with other scientists on a local and disciplinary basis. We commend these groups!
During the 80-year history of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) there have been regional groups of members who gather regularly to explore science and faith issues. These ASA chapters offer local coordination that fulfills the ASA mission of peacefully integrating scientific discovery with a belief in Jesus Christ. The affiliations of the ASA likewise are groups of members that congregate specifically around a scientific discipline of common interest such as biology, geology, and engineering.
There is a total of 36 chapters located regionally throughout the United States and Canada. A few of the chapters are run entirely by university students. These member groups partner with the ASA national office in Topsfield, MA, on programs such as during the ASA 2023 Winter Symposium (January 28) with local watch parties or hosting virtual follow-up conversations. Some chapters hold an event once or twice a semester, while others do so monthly. Many of these gatherings are held at Christian universities within the chapter region. Chapters provide a structure that strengthens the ASA and broadens the outreach capability of the organization.
The Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation (CSCA) gives leadership north of the U.S. border, serving as a sister organization to the ASA. Close coordination between the ASA and CSCA has been productive over the years in connecting scientific scholars in professional activity offering conversation that spans great geographic distances. In fact, the ASA/CSCA annual meeting this summer will be held at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada, July 28 – 31, 2023. We are excited about celebrating the 50th anniversary of the CSCA!
Christian Women in Science (CWiS) is another ASA affiliation. This group provides support to women scientists who value a Christian faith, done so through regular meetings, seminars, promotion of women scholars, and professional awards. A significant increase in women attendees at the ASA 2022 annual meeting illustrates the success of this affiliation. There has also been a revitalized interest in the Affiliation of Christian Biologists (ACB) under new leadership, with the hope of engaging early- and late- career biologists using seminars, blogs, meetings, etc. Finally, we are pleased to announce the brand-new formation of the Affiliation of Ministers and Theologians. Clergy and scholars of theology have always been members of ASA. This new affiliation will formalize their participation.
ASA remains committed to fostering these efforts by region and by discipline, delivering support towards engagement in meaningful ways. We welcome your involvement! Contact Dana at email@example.com or 330-466-5631 for more information about ASA membership and how you can join a chapter near you or affiliation to which you might be interested.
Also, it is not too late to register for the American Scientific Affiliation’s 2023 Winter Symposium on Scientists and the Church, Saturday January 28 at 1 pm ET. Walter Kim, President, National Association of Evangelicals and Jessica Moerman, Vice President of Science and Policy, Evangelical Environmental Network will explore how we might have better discussions about science and faith in the church. Invite your pastor and other friends from your church!
About the author:
Dana M. Oleskiewicz is the ASA Director of Chapters and Affiliates. She provides coordination between the regional ASA leadership teams, as well as the groups organized around a scientific discipline. Her area of specialization is in organizational development, collaborative decision making, citizen science, and environmental protection. Dana is currently earning a Ph.D. in Cultural Foundations with a focus on gender studies at Kent State University, Ohio, where she also received a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Aquatic Ecology. She enjoys being outdoors, serving at her Lutheran church, traveling with her husband and three children, watching sci-fi shows, and reading non-fiction to expand her understanding about the great big, wonderful world that we all call home.
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