The UK Guardian takes on the New Atheists in an article with a provocative title, "It's a Big Fat Myth That All Scientists Are Religion-Hating Atheists."
Sylvia McLain writes:
Reinforcing the scientist = atheist stereotype, whether you are for it or against it, necessarily excludes people. No one should be excluded from science if they want to do it, be excited about it or read about it. . . .
The cartoon stereotype that all scientists are religion-hating atheists isn't just annoying; it is harmful. It is divisive and does nothing to encourage people into scientific discovery.
In fact, it reinforces the idea that only a certain type of person can do science. This is not true. Professional science has enough diversity problems as it is, with women and minorities still grossly under-represented, without throwing religious-typing in there too.
Public scientists and critics alike need to take a bit more care in lumping all scientists into the same stereotypical category. The world is much more complex than that.