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Fri, Aug 12

Science & Society Opens New Collaboratory Space Near East Campus

Science & Society Collaboratory

Visitors entering Science & Society’s new Collaboratory are greeted with an open floor plan and an energetic color palette fitting of the initiative’s mission and goals. A large, bright-orange wall wrap welcomes newcomers with the text, “Science asks, ‘Can we?’ Ethics asks, ‘Should we?’ Policy asks, ‘How?'”

“We’re examining cutting-edge advancements in science and technology with the goal of addressing the related ethical questions that our policymakers and society will eventually face,” says Ben Shepard, a staff member at S&S. “These are difficult questions that require us to be especially collaborative and interdisciplinary with our approach. Our programs join together students and faculty from the sciences, humanities, business, and law and this new space provides a modern venue for the discussion.”

Just off 9th street in the Erwin Mill building, the new location provides more classroom space for the Masters program, a lounge area, and open workstations. What used to be individual offices are now dedicated work spaces, some fitted with flat screen TV’s and cameras for presentations and teleconferencing.

A portion of Science & Society’s faculty and core staff work full-time in the collaboratory, while visitors from partner programs come and go regularly. It also serves as the official brick and mortar home of the newly launched SciPol Program and future home of the SPiN Lab.

When asked whether the open floor plan and the regular traffic becomes distracting, Mr. Shepard answered, “Not really. Though, I’ve worked in a similar environment in the past so I might be used to it. The traffic can be invigorating and the open space discourages working in silos. You can always put your headphones on or duck into one of the closed spaces if you really need to isolate yourself.”

If you’d like to learn more about the space, stop by or check out a few photographs on our Facebook page!
Erwin Mill, Bay A, #201-205
2024 W. Main St. Durham, NC 27705