As the 21st century begins to unfold, it is clear that we live in a society in which science plays an increasingly significant role. Citizens and their leaders need to achieve a functional level of scientific literacy to deal with issues ranging from global climate change to stem cell research to viral pandemics. It is estimated that about one in four American adults meets a minimal standard of civic scientific literacy. This level of scientific literacy is insufficient to sustain a healthy democratic society or to assure rational consideration of major scientific issues.
In establishing the Chicago Council on Science and Technology in 2006, the founders sought to bring together Chicago’s scientific leaders – academic, corporate, government, museums, universities and national laboratories- to provide a forum for the discussion of current issues of scientific interest.
Dr. Alan Schriesheim, President of C2ST and Director Emeritus of Argonne National Laboratory, Dr. Jon Miller, Director of the International Center for the Advancement of Scientific Literacy at the University of Michigan and Dr. Paul Knappenberger, President of the Adler Planetarium – began discussing the need for a regional organization that could adopt a role in the science community.
Since September of 2007, C2ST has co-sponsored or produced over 220 programs, and partnered with over 140 regional and national organizations. C2ST is an anchor to catalyze a more robust marketplace for science and gain more visibility for Chicago as a center of innovation and technology.
C2ST brings together the collective insight and resources of Chicago’s scientific, philanthropic and business leaders, including academic, corporate, government, museum, and national laboratories. Our vision is to be the premier and trusted source for Chicago area science and technology public outreach.
- Be a voice and advocate for the scientific community in the metropolitan Chicago area.
- Enhance the public understanding and appreciation of science and technology (S and T) through public discussions of emerging and important S and T policy issues.
- Provide opportunities for members of the scientific community to meet each other and develop a greater sense of identity.
- Link academic, business, and public policy leaders to build consensus for science education, technology innovation, and robust knowledge-economy growth in Chicago and the Midwest.
- Maintain a working relationship with the science journalism community in the metropolitan Chicago area, providing special briefings on selected emerging issues.
- Attract new science, engineering and technology-based industries to the Chicagoland area.