This qualitative research study examined the ways those who identify themselves as theistic scientists and scholars experience inspiration, as defined as divine guidance or influence, in their scientific scholarship and discovery. It also explored participants' beliefs about how scientists and scholars can seek and prepare to receive inspiration in their work. Open-ended surveys of 450 participants from the behavioral and natural sciences and from a variety of religious backgrounds were analyzed for content themes in the areas of experiences with inspiration, preparing to receive inspiration, and further thoughts on inspiration in science. The themes extracted indicated that these scientists and scholars have experienced inspiration throughout all stages of the research process. They also believe that certain practices and virtues, such as openness to inspiration and nurturing a relationship with God, can help scientists and scholars be more prepared to receive inspiration in their work.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
O'Grady, Kari Ann, "The Role of Inspiration in Scientific Scholarship and Discovery: Views of Theistic Scientists" (2007). Theses and Dissertations. 1268.
inspiration, prayer, science, intuition, discovery, God