Mission Statement

Science in Society is a Northwestern University research center dedicated to science education and public engagement. Through partnerships with Chicago-area schools and community groups, we train Northwestern researchers to share their expertise and creativity in a community-centered way. Our focus is to develop sustainable educational initiatives that deliver proven results for groups that need us most.

The center partners with urban K-12 teachers, administrators, and youth development agencies to create high-quality, long-term, impactful science learning opportunities for underserved youth. In 2008, Science in Society partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago and teachers in Chicago Public Schools to develop Science Club, a mentor-based afterschool program. Science Club brings Northwestern science graduate students together with underrepresented middle school youth throughout the academic year. Related programs include Science Club Summer Camp, Science Explorers, and Jr. Science Club.

All of the center's thirteen initiatives build long-term partnerships with community organizations and educators to collaboratively deliver inquiry-based science engagement for communities in need. Science in Society also develop and run science writing and communication training for scientist and researchers, often in tandem with the educational and community-focused priorities of the center's mission. This includes the annual Scientific Images Contest, a science writing course for scientists, and the online magazine HELIX.

In 2016, the center received a Phi Beta Kappa Society award for innovative efforts to build community connections through the natural sciences.

Who We Are

Research Professor and Director

Michael Kennedy is a research professor of Neurobiology at Northwestern University and the founding director of Science in Society, the university’s...

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Associate Director

Rabiah Mayas is a self-proclaimed lifelong science nerd whose passion for science education stems from her strong belief in science and scientific thinking...

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Senior Program Coordinator

Emily Mathews is excited to join the Science in Society team and continue her lifelong work of making science fun, exciting, and accessible for all...

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Senior Coordinator CPS HS STEM Partnership

Daniel Meyer comes to Science in Society with a strong background in preservice and inservice teacher education. A central thread through much of his work...

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Program Coodinator, Science Club

Ashley Jennings’s path to science education was logical, although not entirely direct. She grew up in the Chicagoland area but has been living back and...

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Program Coordinator, Science Club

Tanicia earned a BA in Biopsychology, Cognition & Neuroscience and Spanish at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), and continued her studies at...

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Business Coordinator

Sarina McBride has held a variety of roles in both academia and industry. After a degree in chemistry from the University of Oregon, she...

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Program Assistant

Erika Morales received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Hispanic Studies from Oberlin College in May 2018. She participated in programs similar to...

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Science Education Fellow

Kristen Manion is a current master’s student in Plant Biology & Conservation at Northwestern University. In 2017, she received a Bachelor of Science...

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Science Education Fellow

Jeffrey Wang graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio/TV/Film and went on to receive a Master of Arts in Medical Science...

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Science Education Fellow

Nihmotallahi Adebayo is a current Master of Science in Health Communication candidate in Northwestern’s School of Communication. She graduated in June 2019...

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A digital science magazine published by Science in Society and written by Northwestern faculty, students and staff.

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