Illinois Science Council (“ISC”) is an independent 501c3 organization that engages, educates, and entertains the public about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in our everyday lives. ISC serves as the adult complement to student-focused science efforts, and the science & tech counterpart to the region’s arts & culture offerings by raising STEM understanding and appreciation.

ISC explores a wide variety of topics with a fun, non-stuffy approach. We create engaging programs (aimed at adults and accessible to teens) such as: hands-on chemistry (Chemistry of… Beer, Chocolate, Whiskey, Coffee, Honey, etc.); panel discussions on science subjects in the news (Your Brain on Happiness, on Creativity, on Addiction, on Exercise, etc.); author talks (Lisa Randall, Mary Roach, Randall Munroe of XKCD); film screenings (“The Atom Smashers”), plus the Chicago Science Festival; and more.

Carl Sagan observed:

“We live in a society exquisitely dependent upon science and technology in which hardly anyone understands anything about science and technology.”

ISC is certainly working to change that.

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Featured Events

Here are upcoming and most recent ISC events. Or visit our main event calendar below for lots of science events happening citywide. Full Event Calendar

Science Cocktail Party 2019

D.I.R.T.T. Environmental Showroom, 325 N. Wells Street, 10th Floor, Chicago, IL 60654

Chemistry of Beer

Metropolitan Brewing Tap Room, 3057 N Rockwell St, Chicago, IL 60618

Chemistry of The Cocktail

Koval Distillery, 5121 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

Science Cocktail Party 2018

DIRTT Environmental Solutions, 325 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60654

Science Unsealed

A blog about the science of everyday life...and some from out of this world. View More

The Impossible Burger: Is it Really That Impossible?

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not vegan, vegetarian, or even pescatarian. I’m not any of the -arians. But I am a foodie. So when I heard about the Impossible Burger, a plant-based “beef” burger, I had to try it. Unlike other plant-based burgers, where you can see the beans and corn that are squished together to make the patty, the Impossible Burger truly resembles a beef burger.

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Machines Can Read Your Mind

A bionic woman trains her robotic ear to recognize the sound of footsteps two blocks away. A man taps on a holographic screen to view a recording of his own memory. A scientist puts their finger to their temple to mentally command an army of robots.

You might recognize those scenes from popular science fiction, but technologies that can literally read our minds now exist in early forms, thanks to brain research. The nearly 1 in 5 people who have physical disabilities could benefit from devices like these to help them move their artificial limbs using just their thoughts. And as the field of futuristic research develops, we might see cool, new technologies that can improve anyone’s life. But low participation in medical research is preventing progress. Although 57% of Americans believe that it is important for everyone to take part in clinical trials, fewer than 16% have ever done so.  More volunteers with and without disabilities are needed to fine-tune these technologies that depend on Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMI). 

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Can Plants Learn? Here’s Some Evidence

When I was in fifth grade, I took care of a light pink flower that sat by the windowsill in my classroom. Every time I noticed my plant leaning towards the window, I turned it around so I could watch how, after a couple days, it had tilted towards the window again. I later learned in class that plants grow towards light, but I wondered, was there more to it? Did the flower learn to do this?

Continue reading “Can Plants Learn? Here’s Some Evidence”