Science & Society

The world is more polarized than ever. Science—especially when applied to questions about the environment, medical interventions, and new technologies—has become a splinter between people and between communities.

To overcome these divides, the Aspen Institute launched the Science & Society Program in 2019 within the Aspen Institute Health, Medicine and Society Program with seed support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Johnson & Johnson.

Science & Society catalyzes community leaders, current and future scientists, and the general public to build a better scientific ecosystem, society, and world.

We leverage the established assets, networks, and platforms of the Aspen Institute to convene and mobilize these groups to build bridges between them. Fundamentally, Science & Society serves as a laboratory to test ideas and approaches that help explain, connect, and maximize the benefits of science for public good. Led by a core staff of trained scientists, the program is an early responder to emerging trends, offers accessible and digestible information that combats misinformation, and is on the pulse of critical issues at the intersection of science and society.

Our efforts are anchored in five core values of science
  • Integrity: Science offers methodical pursuits to understand the natural world
  • Ethics: Scientists and the public share responsibility to implement science for the benefit of humanity
  • Hope: Scientific innovation will make the world safer, healthier, and more connected
  • Trust: The rigor of data and evidence leads to confidence in discovery
  • Equity: A diverse and inclusive scientific workforce is essential to solve the world’s complex problems

Download our latest program prospectus



Science & Society Team Retreat
New York City, July 2023

Left to right: Hassan, Rachel, Jylana, Nataliya, Sejal, Davina, Aaron

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The Science & Society Program is grateful to the following supporters:
Current Program Support

Current Project-Specific Support

Founding Program Support

Past Program Support

Past Project-Specific Support