Consortium Introduction

The Consortium conducts original research, serves students and faculty, and advances public dialogue and understanding on emerging issues at the intersection of science and society.

Latest News

UM Duluth campus with rainbow

IonE Announces New Hub at University of Minnesota, Duluth

September 20, 2018

The Institute on the Environment (IoneE) has announced the creation of a hub that will provide the Institute's programming to students, staff, and faculty on the campus of the University of Minnesota Duluth. The new group will be led by IonE Fellow and UMD Swenson College of Science & Engineering Professor Julie Etterson, who will facilitate the expansion of IonE activities on the UMD campus and among regional partners. Etterson notes, “Over the last decade, IonE has established a record of excellence in supporting interdisciplinary research, leadership training, and cross-sector partnerships. [This offshoot] can benefit from that experience and expertise – and, because UMD is a smaller campus in a smaller city, we also have a unique capacity to cultivate interdisciplinary interactions and collaborations that address community-driven problems and have local impact.” IonE is a Consortium member center.

Cathy Wurzer with speaker at Mayo conference Sept 2018

Mayo Genomic Medicine Conference Asks: Hype or Hope?

September 17, 2018

At a conference held last week at the Mayo Clinic, health care professionals discussed the promise and limits of genomic (also known as precision) medicine. According to the Star Tribune, while optimism is justified, Dr. Michael Joyner of Mayo cautioned that "'I like to tell people to drink the Kool-Aid in small doses.' He described a 'hype-filled biomedical narrative' that, he argues, has led people to believe that genetic medicine has accomplished more than it really has." Mayo is participating in the federal All of Us Research program, in which 100 health care organizations in the US are collecting genetic information for one million people. A free conference and national webcast being held in Nashville on Nov. 29 will take the discussion of genomic medicine a step further, focusing on legal and policy solutions to ensure precision medicine doesn't exacerbate health inequities. That event, "Law, Genomic Medicine & Heath Equity" is co-sponsored by the Meharry-Vanderbilt AllianceVanderbilt University Medical Center, the Consortium on Law & Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences and Minnesota Precision Medicine Collaborative. Learn more and register here

Breakout session at Native Nutrition conference 2017

Third Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition, Oct. 2-5

September 14, 2018

On October 2-5, 2018, tribal officials, researchers, practitioners, and others will gather at Mystic Lake Casino to discuss the current state of Indigenous and academic scientific knowledge about Native nutrition and food science. Session topics will include nutrition across the lifecycle, intergenerational learning about food and nutrition, learning from Indigenous communities around the world, linking agriculture to nutrition and recovering from historical trauma. The conference is offered by Seeds of Native Health and sponsored by the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute, a Consortium member, and the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community. Learn more and register here

Jessica Hellmann

IonE Among Recipients of NAFKI Challenge Grant

September 12, 2018

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) has awarded a NAFKI Challenge grant to a team including Jessica Hellmann (left) of the Insitute on the Environment and Bonnie Keeler of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The $500,000, two-year research project, “Institutionalizing Interdisciplinarity," will use sustainability science as the focus of an effort to create and model the infrastructure required to make research across multiple academic areas more common and effective. According to Prof. Hellmann, “Society needs science – and scientists – more than ever, because we need knowledge to confront our greatest societal and environmental challenges. But it takes a special kind of scientist, one who can work side by side with society, to bring about a better future. This project convenes the organizations and leaders who are creating and supporting this new kind of creator and doer. This group can change how science is done, why it is done, and for whom.” The Institute on the Environment (IonE) is a Consortium member, and represents the type of multidisciplinary research at the intersection of science and society the Consortium has pursued and supported since its founding in 2000.

Upcoming Events

Consortium Updates

Job Opportunity: Executive Assistant/Events Coordinator

We are seeking a full-time Executive Assistant and Events Coordinator to support the administrative, programmatic, research, and teaching functions of the Consortium and its leadership. This is a Bargaining Unit position; Job ID is 326080. Applications will be accepted until the job is filled. Questions may be directed to Audrey Boyle at For more information or to apply, click here