Code for Science & Society (CS&S) is dedicated to a future where research, data, and technology initiatives embody community-centered practices to grow global access to knowledge and shift power to communities.
Our mission is to advance the power of data to improve the social and economic lives of all people through public education, scientific research, and technology development and deployment. We also aim to improve the public’s ability to find, collect, and share the open data they use to make more informed decisions in the benefit of the public interest.
Our mission motivates CS&S to examine the current context surrounding data and the role of data and technology in our society. When data and technology are presented as complete solutions to societal challenges, they can often cause harm rather than achieving the goal of improving lives. Informed by open-source software, open research practices, social justice movements, and a global call for community-owned and durable digital infrastructure, we build toward a new future. Our programs seek to enhance – through practical support, training, funding, and resources – initiatives intended to create and maintain community-stewarded projects that broaden access to knowledge for everyone, everywhere. As a U.S.-based nonprofit, we recognize the significant opportunity we have to invest in and partner with projects that shift power to historically disenfranchised communities in the U.S. and around the world. Since our founding in 2016, our programs have developed to fill critical gaps faced by technologists working across fields, including open data for civic tech, software for scientific research, and initiatives that seek to shift the practices and culture of research and technology.
Our team has experience in leading, mentoring, and fiscally sponsoring projects in the public interest. We offer programs and services designed to elevate the ecosystem, including:
- Fiscal sponsorship bundled with strategic project support
- Services for projects that build management, leadership, and fundraising skills
- Services for funders focused on evaluating sustainability of investments in open source to maximize impact
- Inclusive spaces for people to connect across domains and share knowledge
- Support for the development of diverse leaders
Establishing and running a nonprofit is not always practical for open-data, research, and technology projects. Established in 2017, our Fiscal Sponsorship Program allows mission-aligned projects to partner with CS&S for operational and financial services. We support projects to administer grants, manage employees and contractors, and handle other day-to-day operational issues. Projects in our Fiscal Sponsorship Program can devote their team’s capacity to their core work within a robust network of like-minded projects. This portfolio of projects reflects the diverse, robust ecosystem of initiatives working to enable data to improve lives through community-centered education, research, and technology.
We develop funding mechanisms, incubate digital infrastructure, create spaces for communities of practice to grow and thrive, and open resources to support the public interest technology community.
Event Fund: Bringing together communities of practice is essential to building data skills and broadening participation in data science. Our Event Fund supports inclusive, data-training themed events around the world to anchor communities and cultivate skills. We provide grant funding as well as training and networking opportunities for event organizers. Since the Event Fund was established in 2020, we have awarded more than $350,000 USD to 24 organization teams in 21 countries across five continents – reaching thousands of participants in more than 90 countries. This unique and impactful program directly invests in leaders around the world to expand access to data science training.
Digital Infrastructure Incubator: Our newest program, launched in 2021, supports open-source project leaders that are implementing best practices in sustainability, governance, and community health. The Incubator brings together researchers and practitioners with a focus on creating sustainable, open, digital public infrastructure. Our goal is to put research into practice – emphasizing an intentional design approach to sustainability, diversity, and equity – in the most efficient ways possible. We provide capacity-building, guide the formation of partnerships, and curate resources that explore both the research and application of reducing the vulnerabilities that exist in the digital infrastructure.