Science, Innovation, Communication

The IME positions students to become skilled communicators, meaningful collaborators, and engaged leaders by offering pioneering programs in science communication and innovation.  Chicago’s expansive cultural and technological opportunities serve as the landscape in which our students further enhance their skills and explore what it means to pursue research in a problem-focused way.

Science Communication

The IME is positioning its students to engage broad audiences and to lead in developing applications that solve global challenges. Through participation in the programs described below students will learn to anticipate audience perspective, to animate scientific ideas, and to describe the impact of their research to scientists and non-scientists alike.

The Museum of Science and Industry has partnered with the IME to design a series of workshops to expand student ability to communicate science successfully.  Participants learn to translate their own research for presentation at the museum alongside exhibits such as Robot Revolution and Body Worlds. 

The STEM Writing Program instills principles of effective science writing that allow students to anticipate and to shape how readers respond to their work—whether those readers are professors, business professionals, or members of various communities of interest.

The IME Workshops on Teaching Fundamentals are designed to help students to explore teaching strategies that encourage active learning and problem-solving in the context of STEM classrooms. Students typically participate in these workshops before taking a teaching assistantship position.

IME Innovation Through Arts and Entrepreneurship

The Institute for Molecular Engineering brings together the sciences, arts, and entrepreneurship to generate greater understanding and novel solutions that will impact society. 

STAGE is a collective laboratory, or “collaboratory,” where scientists and artists work together to bring to life compelling stories. Founded and directed by Nancy Kawalek, Professor and Distinguished Fellow in the Arts, Sciences, and Technology at UChicago, STAGE assembles an international array of artists, scientists, and students to explore and develop multi-media theater pieces inspired by science and technology.

Through STAGE, students have the opportunity to participate in the process of generating emotionally engaging theater that is fundamentally integrated with scientific ideas. These experiences broaden and deepen emerging scientists’ understandings of the role and potential of science in contemporary society.

Affiliated with IME, STAGE pursues an international mission to:

• cultivate appreciation and collaboration between the cultures of science and art;
• catalyze the development of art that depicts our technological age;
• promote understanding of the sciences in the public arena; and
• foster new and imaginative voices and methods of storytelling.

An Ecosystem for Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Public Policy Understanding

UChicago has strategically developed campus institutions, initiatives, and connections that stimulate innovative ideas, teach entrepreneurial skills, and promote collaborative discovery and decision making.  They range from the Urban Labs initiative (social sciences) to the Harris Energy Association (public policy) to the MERITS initiative (medicine) to promote research, innovation, and scholarship.

Innovation and Commercialization
The opportunities available to graduate students have been enhanced by the IME’s Innovation and Commercialization Fellowship Program (ICFP).  The ICFP is a student-led effort to facilitate commercialization at the Institute, serving as a link between new discoveries and inventions created in IME labs and innovation organizations at the University of Chicago such as:

• Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation;
• Chicago Innovation Exchange; and
• UChicagoTech – Technology Development & Ventures.

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