Lang Center
for Civic & Social Responsibility

Science & Society

In the spirit of a true liberal arts education, Science & Society Lang Center associates are here to help you connect your “hard sciences” education in the classroom with your social calling. It is imperative to include the natural sciences in the conversation on social justice, as technologies and sciences have the rich capacity to expedite and maximize social impact.


The Social Innovation Lab 

Contact: Denise Crossan 

Founded by Denise Crossan, the Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor for Social Change, the Social Innovation Lab will host courses and programs that teach participants innovation skills such as human-centered design thinking methods, strategic and project planning, and social entrepreneurship skills. The Lab and its programming will also connect directly with faculty across the College to enrich engaged scholarship pursuits utilizing social innovation processes.

Center for Innovation and Leadership (CIL)

Contact: Katie Clark 

CIL provides a wide variety of programming to engage students in the ideation and innovation process. Events include:

  • Innovation Incubators
    The Innovation Incubator Program is a series of workshops and one-on-one meetings for groups of students interested in what it takes to form a business. The incubator utilizes the Business Model Canvas from Strategyzer as one of its main resources because it helps businesses to understand customers, design better value proposals, and find the right model for a particular business. 

  • Swat Tank
    Swat Tank, an idea competition, focuses on an inclusive model, one that provides students with the opportunity to take a rough idea, product, or concept and develop it toward its next incarnation, ideation, or realization. The process culminates at the Swat Tank Innovation Competition in the Spring.

  • CIL @ SF
    Each January, the CIL takes a small group of students to tour companies in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley. This high-tech adventure provides students with the opportunity to meet with entrepreneurial alumni who live and work in the region, to learn about their work and their workplaces, and to engage with the startup Venture Capital and tech communities. Students travel with Swarthmore staff members for five days between Silicon Valley and San Francisco and enjoy some fun sights along the way.

  • Swat [Outside the box]
    Swat [Outside the Box] is a CIL-sponsored blog designed to highlight ways that students and alumni are making changes in their chosen fields. By highlighting stories of success, creativity, and resilience, we hope to inspire members of the Swarthmore community to take steps outside of their comfort zones and make positive change in the world.

The Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment 

Contact: Michael Brown

Under the lead of Professor of Physics Michael Brown, student researchers in the SSX Lab study turbulence and plasma astrophysics partially to probe into the question of fusion energy, which would revolutionize the future energy supply chain.

Student Groups

Women in Computer Science | Contact: Ali Rosenweig '18
W+iMS Contact: | Contact: Rachel Leifeild '18 
Society of Women Engineering 
​LaunchDeck | Contact: Won Chung ’18 and Jason Jin '20


Relevant Courses


Science & Society Lang Center Associates

Michelle Ma '20

Lang Center Associate for Science and Society

Tarzan MacMood '20

Lang Center Associate for Science & Society