Our Mission & History
“Scientists have a tremendous amount to contribute to solving society’s most pressing problems and many are eager to engage with society, but they often need help in learning how to be effective.” —Dr. Jane Lubchenco, COMPASS Co-Founder, Distinguished University Professor and Adviser in Marine Studies at Oregon State University, and former Administrator of NOAA
In her 1997 AAAS Presidential address, Dr. Jane Lubchenco laid out a “new social contract for science.” COMPASS, which originally stood for “Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea”, was founded by Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Vikki Spruill, Chuck Savitt, and Chris Harrold in partnership with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.. Our mission, at our founding and today, is to help scientists effectively share their knowledge in the public discourse and decision-making. We provide practical support for scientists to engage without compromising the accuracy of their science.
Although we are widely known for fee-for-service trainings, the majority of our funding comes from philanthropic sources. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Wilburforce Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, the Campbell Foundation, the Marisla Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Rita Allen Foundation, the Kingfisher Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, among others, have provided critical support over the last fifteen years. Our audited 2017 financials are available for download by clicking this link.