In our third annual collaboration, the ISC will publish articles written by UC undergrads about the science behind clinical trials taking place in the Midwest

Clinical trials often fail simply because they weren’t able to enroll enough patient volunteers. This is why nine medical and research institutions across the Midwest came together to form The New Normal, a clinical trial database that makes it easier for people to learn about clinical trials in their area that they may be eligible for. The organizers hope that if more people participate in clinical trials, more trials will finish, leading to the approval of more life-saving therapies.

All clinical trials are run by a principal investigator (PI), who is a professor at a university or a doctor at a hospital. Last fall, undergraduates from the University of Chicago were matched with PIs from their institution to write about the science behind their clinical trials. Over the next few months, the Illinois Science Council will publish 12 articles borne out of this collaboration.  Topics will range from the effort to build a mobile app that helps improve asthma treatment to a study examining the use of psychedelic drugs to treat mental illness. Each article provides background on a specific clinical trial featured in The New Normal that you might be eligible for if you meet the right criteria.

This is the third annual collaboration between the Illinois Science Council’s Science Unsealed and the University of Chicago. Last year, we published content written by 10 science writing students at the University:

If you’re hosting a science writing workshop or class at your college or university and you are looking for an online platform to publish your students’ work, contact us at


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Total Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024

Total Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024

On April 8th, 2024, a total solar eclipse will sweep across North America, from Mexico to the Maine-Canadian border. For those who experienced the spectacular solar eclipse of 2017, this one will be similar, crossing the United States from west to east and passing through or near several major metropolitan areas. And while its path is quite different this time, Carbondale, Illinois, a reasonable destination for Chicago-area residents, will once again be on the line of totality.    

Just a little background on eclipses:  Lunar and solar eclipses are not uncommon – they each occur about twice a year when the moon is crossing the ecliptic, the path of the sun in the sky.

Two women representing the Illinois Science Council at an event.

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