Our Impact

To fully measure the impact of our interdisciplinary collaborations, research efforts, outreach programs, and events, the Center for Science and Society gathers a variety of qualitative and quantitative metrics. We use surveys, narrative reports, and feedback sessions to assess and contextualize the quality and depth of collaborations, their scholastic results, and strategies for overcoming interdisciplinary challenges. 

To quantify our reach and growth, we collect data from the number and types of events we organize including attendee and participant demographics, as well as analytics from our website and social media audiences, and information about the funding we award and are awarded every year. Some key metrics from our community: 

  • Among our academic collaborators, 28% of members come from natural and applied sciences departments, 30% from humanities, and 30% from social science disciplines. 
  • Since 2014, the Center has awarded more than $150,000 in grants to students and faculty for 56 seed, course development, and public outreach projects. 
  • Approximately 75% of seed and public outreach grants were awarded to students.
  • In 2019-2020, our website received nearly 30,000 visitors from 157 countries and territories, including Ghana, Ecuador, and Bulgaria. 

However, numbers alone cannot paint a complete picture. Below are stories from our community members and grant recipients. They attest to the myriad ways that our activities have created new insights and partnerships. Using this information from students, scholars, and the public, the Center is able to evolve and enhance our offerings.

Center Spotlight: Using Science To Help Society

Image of Noam and Ana

On the frontlines of the pandemic, the Columbia University community has developed new ways for science to help society, both locally and across the world. We spoke with two researchers who have transformed their work in order to help those in need.

Ana Pessoa Pinharanda became Project Manager of the Mask Reutilization Project. Noam Zerubavel volunteered at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Why did they join Columbia's COVID fight? What is life like as a volunteer? How has their previous research prepared them for these new roles? Read the full article to learn more. 

Center Spotlight: Students Imagine Life After COVID-19

Illustration of young people wearing masks together

We reached out to students across Columbia University to imagine how the world will look in 6-12 months, with or without a vaccine. As part of a generation of young adults who have grown up in an era of rapid technological advances and significant political and social change, and who were working and studying in NYC until the virus uprooted their lives, we were eager to hear their perspectives. 

See the full article with comments from undergraduate and graduate students in science and engineering, the social sciences, public health, and humanities. 

Co-Teaching Spotlight: Philosophy of Psychology

image of book with math equations.

Interdisciplinary research and teaching are at the core of the Center for Science and Society’s mission. The next phase of our co-teaching initiative: providing grants to increase the number of interdisciplinary co-taught courses at Columbia. 

A new course this spring, “Philosophy of Psychology” pairs John Morrison, Associate Professor of Philosophy, and Raphael Gerraty, Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience. Learn more about their thought process in developing it as well as their experiences co-teaching in the full article

Public Outreach Spotlight: New York's Science History

bridge over Harlem River

The Center is proud to support public outreach projects that showcase science history in New York City: Metropolis of Science and Confluence: The History of North American Rivers. Thanks to their user-friendly formats, both platforms encourage audiences to explore overlooked sites of scientific importance throughout the city. Our work-study student Ariana traveled to ten locations in Upper Manhattan and along the Harlem River.

Read about Ariana's journey from the "Fly Room" to the subway platform that doubled as a radiation laboratory in the full article.  

How Does Music Move Us?

What is the link between music and emotions? Join us on November 9 for an interdisciplinary approach to this question. 

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