What is the Coalition doing?

Underpinning the COPUS effort is a growing network of organizations and individuals who share a common goal: engaging sectors of the public in science science to increase their understanding of the nature of science and its value to society.

»Find out more about participating in the COPUS Network.

Year of Science 2009  

1 January 2009 - 31 December 2009:

COPUS and its participants are engaged in 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.

As they develop programs for 2009, participating organizations share program ideas, register them in the COPUS registry, and collaborate with others to celebrate science.

  • To get involved in the Year of Science 2009, visit www.yearofscience2009.org or contact Sheri Potter at .
Directory of Programs and Events  

The COPUS Directory is a searchable database that aggregates information about programs, events, and resources in science. This directory is freely accessible to the general public, education, and scientific communities and serves to raise awareness of the diversity of programs being offered by the science community. It encourages sharing of resources between network participants and highlights exemplary programs. It serves as a central repository for programs and resources that encourage science engagement and learning.

Formation of COPUS Regional & Thematic Hubs 

COPUS Regional and Thematic hubs provide not only the local connections relevant to a particular regional audience or to a group sharing common interests, but they also provide the potential for a higher level of sustainability for the COPUS effort.

  • COPUS Regional Hubs are locally-based communities of COPUS participants and science stakeholders that work together within a designated geographic region to promote the public understanding of science.
  • COPUS Thematic Hubs represent nationally distributed peer communities that are interested in building bridges between their members, COPUS national, and the regional hubs to increase the public understanding of and engagement in science.
  • Learn how to join or initiate a regional hub in your area.
Understanding Science website 

Understanding Science is a new content-rich Web site being developed at the University of California Museum of Paleontology in concert with several partners. Set to launch in late 2008, this freely accessible resource will provide an accurate portrayal of science - what it is and how it works - as well as tools for teaching associated concepts. Several features are being developed in support of the COPUS effort including a Gallery of Scientists and an Amateur Hall of Fame, both of which highlight how science is done.

  • To learn more about this project and how to participate, contact Judy Scotchmoor at .
Social Networking 

COPUS has established a group presence in the social networking Web communities Facebook and LinkedIn.

Facebook offers network participants and science fans alike the opportunity to post their thoughts and ideas on "the wall" about public understanding of science. Facebook is a great way to meet other members of the COPUS Network, keep updated on COPUS happenings, and share your ideas with the Coalition.

LinkedIn is a professional networking tool that also promotes community building. By joining the COPUS group you can extend and further build your peer network to find potential partners and collaborators in COPUS initiatives.

  • Join the COPUS LinkedIn group by sending an email to detailing which participating organization you are associated with, then join here.
Meetings and Presentations 

To request a Coalition member to speak at your organization's event, contact Sheri Potter at .

July 29, 2008: Annual Meeting of the Botanical Society of America - President's Symposium, Vancouver BC.

  • Improving the Public Understanding of Science, presented by Judy Scotchmoor.

July 21, 2008: Tucson Unified School District, Science Facilitators Workshop in Tucson, AZ

  • American Competitiveness and the Year of Science 2009, presented by Lee Allison.

June 18, 2008: 89th Annual Meeting of the AAAS Pacific Division, Waimea, HI

  • Engaging the Public in Science - It Matters, presented by Judy Scotchmoor.

May 16, 2008: AIBS Biology Education Summit, Washington DC

  • Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science & Year of Science 2009, presented by Sheri Potter and Judy Scotchmoor.

May 13, 2008: Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, Washington D.C.

  • A Scientsist Walks into a Bar: Using Science Cafes to Reach the Public, presented by Holly Menninger, Sheri Potter, and Ben Wiehe.

March 6-8, 2008: Meeting of COPUS Regional and Thematic Hubs, sponsored by NSF (Grant No. EAR-0606600), St. Petersburg, Florida. Download the meeting report.

February 15, 2008: Catalina Rotary Club, Tucson, AZ

  • Science, Technology, and American Competitiveness, presentation by Lee Allison

December 11, 2007: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA

  • Celebrating the Year of Science 2009, presentation by Lee Allison

October 29, 2007: Geological Society of America, Annual Meeting, Denver, CO

  • From Grassroots to National - Engaging People in Science at All Levels, Pardee Symposium, Speaker, Judy Scotchmoor

October 17, 2007: Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Annual Meeting, Austin, TX

  • Sharing Science, Town Hall Meeting, Speaker, Judy Scotchmoor

September 20, 2007: National Association of Black Geologists and Geophysicists, Annual Technical Conference, Chandler, AZ

  • Science, Politics, and American Competitiveness, Luncheon Guest Speaker, Lee Allison

August 9, 2007: Ecological Society of America Meeting, San Jose, CA

  • Nurturing the Public Understanding of the Nature of Science, presented by Rob Gropp. Communicating Science Workshop coordinated by the ESA student section.

July 19, 2007: National Congress on Science Education, San Antonio, TX

  • The Public's Understanding of Science vs. the Science Community's Understanding of the Public: Can the Twain Ever Meet? presented by Jay Labov.

May 14-15, 2007: American Institute of Biological Sciences, Annual Meeting, Washington, DC

  • Speaking Science 2.0: The Road to 2008 and Beyond presented by Matt Nisbet and Chris Mooney. AIBS Annual Meeting, May 14.
  • COPUS and Year of Science 2009 presented by Richard O'Grady. AIBS Council Meeting, May 15, 2007

February 9, 2007: American Institute of Professional Geologists, Executive Committee mid-year meeting, Tucson, AZ

  • COPUS, presentation by Lee Allison

December 14, 2006: American Geophysical Union, Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA

  • A Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science, presented by Judy Scotchmoor, Moscone West, Room 3006, 2:25 PM

November 9, 2006: Association of Earth Science Editors, Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA

  • Science Under Attack, Lee Allison, panelist
  • Integrating efforts to reach the public - COPUS and it context, presented by Lee Allison

October 23-25, 2006: Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA

April 9-10, 2006: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Meeting, Houston, TX

  • AGI Executive Council mid-year meeting, Building a Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science presented by Lee Allison
  • AGI Foundation Trustees mid-year meeting, Building a Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science presented by Lee Allison