Illinois Science Council (“ISC”) is an independent, volunteer-driven 501c3 organization that engages, educates, and entertains the adult public about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in our everyday lives. We highlight the scientists and research of the Chicago-area institutions and companies that make Chicago the nation’s true “City of Science.” ISC serves as the science & tech complement to the region’s arts & culture offerings.
ISC was founded on the premise that understanding the scientific method and scientific discoveries is crucial to a well-rounded life. Appreciation of science and technology enhances our appreciation of our world and ourselves. It makes us better decision makers, smarter consumers, more knowledgeable voters, and better-informed citizens. These subjects are also critical to understanding many of the major issues facing our nation. Yet, funding for STEM outreach pales in comparison to that for arts and culture.
We are inspired and motivated by this Carl Sagan quote: “The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous.” Sagan also observed, “We live in a society that is exquisitely dependent upon science and technology in which hardly anyone understands anything about science and technology.” ISC is certainly working to change that.
ISC explores all areas of science and technology and we do it with a fun, non-stuffy approach. We don’t care what’s been forgotten since school (or never learned in the first place). It’s simply about continuing to exercise our inexhaustible human sense of curiosity. We create engaging programs open to the public (aimed at adults and accessible to teens) such as hands on chemistry (Chemistry of… Beer, Chocolate, Coffee, Honey, etc), panel discussions on science subjects in the news (Your Brain on Happiness, on Creativity, on Addiction, on Exercise, etc.), author talks, film screenings (“The Atom Smashers”), and more. Click here for a list of all our past programs.
If you are curious, sign up for our e-newsletter here to learn about upcoming events and other fun science-y stuff.
Board of Directors
MONICA M. METZLER, JD, MA
Founder & Executive Director
Monica’s formal education in science ended with high school chemistry. She went on to earn a B.S. in Public Policy from Northwestern University, and a J.D. along with an M.A. in Policy from Duke University. Her latent interest in science continued and in 2005 she realized Chicago had no coordinated effort promoting science as it did for arts & culture. She created ISC in 2006 to share the astounding amount of science happening in her hometown.
PATRICIA D. LYDON
Vice Chair & Treasurer
Director of Finance and Administration, Hogan Marren, Ltd.
Pat is the Director of Finance and Administration at the Chicago law firm of Hogan Marren, Ltd. She is a long-time fan of planets, stars, asteroids and all things celestial.
Budget Manager, Chicago Public Schools
Greg is the budget manager for Chicago Public Schools. He is an executive with in-depth, multi-dimensional public and private experience spanning the fields of business, information technology, government, and law.
Eva has twenty years experience in research, marketing, and new business development in chemical and technology industries. She holds a M.S. degree in organic chemistry from Northern Illinois University and an MBA in marketing and sales from DePaul University.
Associate, JP Morgan
Laura works is a team lead in Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services. Her secret science love is entomology.
Sustainability Team at DIRTT Environmental Solutions
Jess’s love of science began at age 8 when she realized she wanted to be a Marine Biologist. She studied bottlenose dolphin migratory patterns and health for 9 years with NOAA in Charleston, SC. She also worked on coral reef mapping and health projects in Belize. She holds an undergraduate degree from The University of South Carolina in Marine Science and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Management from Illinois Institute of Technology.