Science@Cal is a networked, cross-disciplinary effort to inform and engage the public about the diversity and depth of science research at Berkeley and the resulting contributions to society. Launched in 2009, to coincide with the Year of Science 2009 national celebration, Science@Cal highlights Cal scientists and the work they do, and fosters opportunities to engage the public at all levels in the scientific enterprise.
Visitors to the Science@Cal website will gain insight into who our scientists are and why they love what they do, and can learn about opportunities on campus and in the community to celebrate science throughout the year.
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The Year of Science 2009 was a national, yearlong, grassroots celebration of science, which took place in communities from coast to coast. Its aim was to shine the spotlight on “How We Know What We Know.” Activities and events were led by a wide variety of scientific organizations under the umbrella of the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) — which started right here at Cal!. A number of organizations united in response to growing concerns about increased antievolution activities, apparent public confusion about stem cell research and climate change, and reports from the National Science Board that “most Americans do not understand the scientific process.” The scientific community leveraged the opportunity to increase promotion and engagement of activities designed to improve public understanding of how science works, who scientists are, and why science matters.
Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) is a grassroots effort whose goal is to engage sectors of the public in science to increase their understanding of the nature of science and its value to society. A key objective of COPUS is to create new forums for communication and to develop new opportunities for engaging the public with science. The coalition is made up of a network of more than 430 universities, scientific societies, science centers and museums, government agencies, advocacy groups, media, schools, educators, businesses, and industry—basically, anyone who cares about science and is concerned about national scientific literacy.
Science@Cal gives special thanks to the UC Berkeley Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Whitman Institute for their generous support of this initiative, and to COPUS for conceiving and evolving a dynamic national forum for the ongoing celebration of science.