Established in 2018, the Institute for Science & Policy at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science strives to make science a second-nature consideration in public discourse.
The Institute works across divides to help solve our most complex statewide, national, and global challenges. We are non-partisan, policy neutral, and serve as a convener and honest broker. With polarization rising, trust in institutions falling, the media seen as increasingly biased, and cultural divides creating challenges for our common humanity, the Institute is positioned to address the wicked collective action issues that define our modern world. If we are to make progress, we need a trusted space where people can learn, share, and work towards science-based solutions.
We create space for uncommon dialogue...
The Institute hosts in-person events as well as virtual programming on key topics like climate change, the energy transition, public health, and natural resources. We are known as a welcoming place for open and informed policy conversations that are inclusive, well-informed, and stretches the boundaries of our thinking. We strive to inspire others about science and serve as a trustworthy source of scientific information. And although we are physically based in Colorado's Front Range, our projects extend throughout the state, the region, and beyond.
...and embrace the human elements of decision-making.
"Following the science" is easier said than done. Humans contain multitudes, and we all carry different sets of values and identities in our lives. In order to find common ground, we must acknowledge and respect many ways of knowing, with particular sensitivity to cultural experiences, traditions, and practices. We must learn how to navigate emotionally charged topics with empathy and understanding in order to build trust and make durable progress.
A catalyst for thoughtful dialogue, working toward solutions on society’s greatest challenges with scientific thinking, empathy, and inclusivity.
A future in which all people honor our common humanity and science has a respected seat at the public policy table.
Build Trust & Engagement
Establish and maintain public trust with humility and empathy.
Use inquiry, consensus science, and scientific processes.
Embed diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion in all we do.
Question assumptions, recognize tradeoffs, and create connections with science.
Embrace Human Nature
Recognize how behavior and thinking is influenced by identity, relationships, biases, values, and power.