It would seem that a STEM-related show would not typically bring on a guest from a religious studies department. But John Schmalzbauer, the Blanche Gorman Strong Chair in Protestant Studies at Missouri State University, might beg to differ. For many years there has been a strong link between spiritual ideas and the health care field, exemplified by the strong presence of religious groups in early hospital development. In addition, several early practitioners of formerly alternative but now mainstream medical techniques used their spirituality to inform their health care practices. In today’s society, it is widely accepted that spirituality can sometimes show a positive influence on health care outcomes, and over the last few decades studies have been undertaken to probe the efficacy of spiritual practices, such as prayer, in the medical outcomes of patients. Dr. Schmalzbauer and I will discuss all these ideas and more this week on STEM Spots.