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Muslim and Protestant Scientists Most Likely to Perceive Discrimination

Christopher Scheitle, an assistant professor of sociology at WVU, and Elaine Howard Ecklund, the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences, director of the Religion and Public Life Program at Rice and principal investigator for the larger project that produced the survey, found that 15 percent of scientists reported experiencing religious discrimination in their work. The researchers also found that Muslim scientists were the most likely to experience religious discrimination, with 63.6 percent of those surveyed reporting at least a perception of discrimination on the job. Protestant scientists reported the second-highest percentage of perceived religious discrimination at 40.4 percent. “Sociologists have evidence that U.S. Muslims are experiencing discrimination more broadly in U.S. society, but some of the dynamics our study picked up may be unique to the academy, such as the higher perception of discrimination among Protestant scientists,” Scheitle said. The researchers were also interested in knowing more about the predictors of discrimination perception.

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