Researcher biography

PhD (Princeton University)

John H. Evans is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego. He has been a visiting member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, a post-doctoral fellow at Yale University and has held visiting professorial fellowships at the Universities of Edinburgh, Muenster and Ben Gurion. He specializes in examining debates that involve religion and science in the public sphere, trying to use social science to contribute to humanistic and ethical debates. He is the author of two books that concern the history and nature of the field now called bioethics, two books about societal views of biotechnology, and over 50 articles and book chapters on topics in religion, science and the public sphere. His most recent book is What is a Human?  What the Answers Mean for Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 2016).


  • 2016    What is a Human?  What the Answers Mean for Human Rights.  New York, NY: Oxford University Press
  • 2012    The History and Future of Bioethics: A Sociological View.  New York, NY: Oxford University Press [Paperback 2014]
  • 2010    Contested Reproduction: Genetic Technologies, Religion, and Public Debate. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press
  • 2002    Playing God? Human Genetic Engineering and the Rationalization of Public Bioethical Debate. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.


  • 2014    “Faith in Science in Global Perspective: Implications for Transhumanism.”  Public Understanding of Science 23 (7): 814-832.
  • 2013    “Conservative Protestantism and Skepticism of Scientists Studying Climate Change” (With Justin Feng). Climatic Change 121 (4): 595-608.
  • 2013    “The Growing Social and Moral Conflict Between Conservative Protestantism and Science.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 52 (2): 368-385.
  • 2011    “Epistemological and Moral Conflict Between Religion and Science.”  Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 50 (4): 707-727.
  • 2008    “Religion and Science: Beyond the Epistemological Conflict Narrative.”  (With Michael S. Evans).  Annual Review of Sociology 34: 87-105.
  • 2007    “Religion and Reproductive Genetics: Beyond Views of Embryonic Life?”  (with Kathy Hudson).  The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 46 (4): 565-581.
  • 2000    “A Sociological Account of the Growth of Principlism.” The Hastings Center Report 30 (5): 31-38.
  • 1996    “Have Americans’ Social Attitudes Become More Polarized?”  American Journal of Sociology 102 (3): 690-755.  (With Paul DiMaggio and Bethany Bryson)

Chapters in Edited Volumes

  • 2012    “Sociology and Christianity,” pp. 344-355 in the Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity.  Edited by James Stump and Alan Padgett.  Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.  (With Michael Evans)
  • 2010    “Arguing Against Darwinism: Religion, Science, and Public Morality,” pp. 286-308 in The New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion.  Edited by Bryan Turner.  New York, NY: Blackwell. (With Michael S. Evans)
  • 2010    “Science, Bioethics and Religion,” pp. 207-225 in The Cambridge Companion to Science and Religion.  Edited by Peter Harrison.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.