ISC is an independent, volunteer-driven organization that engages, educates, and entertains the adult public about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in our everyday lives. ISC serves as the adult complement to the many science-outreach organizations focused on K-12 students and as the science complement to Chicago's many arts and humanities organizations.
ISC creates public programs that bring scientists together with adults who want to cultivate their innate curiosity about STEM topics. Our brain/neuroscience series includes programs like, "Your Brain on Happiness," "Your Brain on Creativity," and "Your Brain on Love, Sex and Oxytocin." To teach chemistry principles weve offered "Chemistry of Beer," "Chemistry of Chocolate," "Chemistry of Coffee" and more. Our fundraising events include "Science of a Cocktail Party" (scientific attractions at a benefit event) in the fall and a Pi Day Pi K 3.14 mile fun run in the spring.
Our work is inspired by this Carl Sagan quote: "We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology." However, thats a rather harsh sentiment although it speaks to the dismal level of science literacy in our county. At ISC, we prefer not to make people feel "illiterate" by focusing on what's been forgotten since school (or never learned in the first place). Instead, we focus simply on continuing to exercise the inexhaustible human sense of curiosity. In that way we are motivated by this Sagan quote: "The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous." So ISC explores all areas of science and technology and we do it with a fun, non-stuffy approach.
We believe understanding the scientific method and scientific discoveries are crucial to a well-rounded civic life. Science and technology enhance our appreciation of ourselves and of the world around us. Yet, once beyond high school or college, opportunities to explore scientific ideas with actual practitioners are rare. Some people feel intimidated by science and technology topics due to a feeling of inadequate background and training. But when information is communicated clearly and presented in an engaging manner, people find it fascinating. We showcase the scientists and research of those Chicago-area institutions and companies that make Chicago our nation's true "City of Science."
The variety of ISC programs is all designed to bring science to the layperson. Well address all areas of science - from astronomy to zoology and everything in between. Programs are open to the public, offered free or at very low cost and done in casual settings when possible to allow people to interact with scientists and learn about work that is interesting, important and worthy of support. In addition to our own programs, we will promote public programs by other area institutions. This helps raise public awareness and appreciation of the extraordinary amount of science research done in this region. For more information contact Monica at mmetzler@IllinoisScience.org.
Mission: The mission of the Illinois Science Council is to raise awareness and appreciation of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) topics in the adult public through interesting and engaging programs highlighting the scientists and the insititutions of Chicago and Illinois.
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