More About COPUS


The Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) is a growing grassroots network of universities, scientific societies, science centers and museums, government agencies, advocacy groups, media, schools, educators, businesses, and industry - basically, anyone who cares about science and is concerned about national scientific literacy.

Goals of COPUS:

  • To develop a shared appreciation of science and its contributions to the quality of life

  • To inform and engage the public in and about science, its process and nature

  • To make science more accessible to everyone

COPUS Activities:

COPUS and its participants lead the way in the celebration of the Year of Science 2009 (YoS09) - a national, year-long celebration of science to engage the public and improve public understanding about how science works, why it matters, and who scientists are. Read more about the Coalition's activities.

Why join COPUS?

By participating in COPUS, your organization contributes to a national effort and in return, your organization may:

  • Gain new opportunities to communicate and collaborate on national and local levels

  • Increase audience participation and improve visibility of science programs and resources nationally and locally via the COPUS program and resource directory and the YoS09 website

  • Enhance partnership opportunities by forming a communication network among peers with common passions and concerns, but different perspectives and areas of expertise

  • Leverage existing resources by sharing best practices, tools, and content for improving public engagement in science

  • Combine limited resources to expand efforts to new audiences

  • Facilitate local awareness of and participation in national initiatives

What is expected of COPUS participants?

  • Support the development of local and regional coalitions and partnerships in your area

  • Work with others to develop activities and programs in support of Year of Science 2009

  • Contribute to the national effort by registering Year of Science 2009 activities and adding the Year of Science logo where possible

  • Share best practices and evaluation data about those practices with the rest of the COPUS network

  • Work with the COPUS network to develop common messages and theme

  • Promote the Coalition and Year of Science 2009 with others

How can we participate in COPUS and the Year of Science 2009?

It is easy to participate, simply register your organization. Your organization's application will be reviewed by the COPUS Steering Committee and you will be contacted regarding next steps. If you have any questions, contact .

Participants in the COPUS network agree to the following characterization of science:

  • Science is a way of learning about what is in the natural world and how it works

  • Science involves a process for testing ideas

    • Science proposes broad natural explanations for how the natural world works and tests those explanations by making observations of the natural world

    • Scientific explanations must be predictive and hence, falsifiable or testable

  • Science is an intellectual and social endeavor


Project sponsors

COPUS is sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Geological Society of America, the National Science Teachers Association, and the University of California Museum of Paleontology.

American Institute of Biological Sciences         The Geological Society of America         National Science Teachers Association         University of California Museum of Paleontology


To see the full list of COPUS supporters, click here.