Bryn Mawr College

Center for Science In Society

History and Background

To facilitate the broad conversations, involving both scientists and non-scientists, which are essential to continuing explorations of
  • the natural world and humanity's place in it,
  • the nature of education,
  • the generation, synthesis, and evaluation of information,
  • technology and its potentials,
  • the relationships between forms of understanding.
From The Plan For a New Century (submitted by the President to the Board of Trustees, and approved 4 March 2000):

"We also propose to create a limted number of "centers" to encourage innovation between and within existing departments and programs. The hallmark of these interrelated centers will be their flexibility, their ability to adapt to changing circumstances ... we need to create flexible ways to develop and maintain an innovative edge in the extra-curricular life of the College and in the curriculum itself. The proposed centers are designed to prompt ongoing change".

"The Center for Science in Society will catalyze and support explorations of the many ways in which people seek to understand the natural world and to use that understanding to support its continuing vitality as well as that of human society. The Center will investigate connections between scientific methods of inquiry and humanistic ones, and will bring together the academic and the applied. It will foster hands-on, exploratory and transdisciplinary approaches to teaching and research ... (and) facilitate the integration of academic learning with scientific understanding in workplace and policy settings. The Center will support existing ... programs and facilitate new collaborations among faculty, staff, and students from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities".

From Center for Science In Society: A Planning Document (submitted to the President, 30 November 2000)

Organization, Plans, Needs