First academic partner of the McCourt Institute in Europe: Sciences Po develops research on technologies for the common good

2021-06-21

The continuous and accelerated spread of technological innovations calls for an increase in academic research, particularly in the human and social sciences. The purpose of expanded research is to better understand, anticipate and act upon their impact on contemporary societies. 

To foster the commitment of its scientific community to studying, deciphering and clarifying the major issues at stake for the common good around new technologies, including the Internet and social networks, Sciences Po announces the signing of a partnership agreement with the McCourt Institute.

Scientific excellence at Sciences Po as part of a global project

Through this partnership, Sciences Po becomes a founding partner of the new American research institute created by entrepreneur Frank McCourt and dedicated to the theme of "Tech for the Common Good". 

“Making technology work for society is one of the biggest challenges humanity faces. It's time to reset technology: how it is designed, developed and leveraged. It should not be a vehicle to benefit a select few, but an engine for the common good. I'm launching the McCourt Institute with this mission at the centre. I am proud to have Sciences Po as a founding partner as they bring a track record of demonstrable results in advancing society. Their excellence in the social sciences is exactly the perspective that must be elevated now...it is urgently needed”, said Frank McCourt.

Sciences Po and its historical partner Georgetown University will mobilize their collective professors, PhDs, researchers and scholars to conduct interdisciplinary research on the use and development of new technologies for the common good.

“Issues surrounding technologies, the use of data and social media are central to research in human and social sciences. They cut through all disciplines at Sciences Po: from economics to history, from sociology to law and political science. The McCourt Institute serves society and the common good: It will considerably enhance the scientific production of our researchers”, stated Laurence Bertrand-Dorléac, Chair of the Board of Directors of the FNSP.

$25 million over 10 years for social science research on technologies for the common good

As part of this partnership, Sciences Po and the Sciences Po American Foundation will receive a $25 million grant over the span of 10 years to support the development of new scientific work conducted by its community of researchers. The grant will fund annual or multi-year research projects on topics related to "Tech for the common good,” including public policy, ethical and legal issues.  This grant is part of Frank McCourt's plan to provide the global research community with the means to explore the topic of technologies for the common good, to shed light on the scope of the disruptions they are causing, and to contribute to vigilance in matters of ethics and societal and environmental responsibility.

The FNSP, the McCourt Institute and the Sciences Po American Foundation are entering a signed grant agreement.  The independence of the researchers' work with respect to the various projects carried out by the donor, in particular in the choice of research protocols and publication of results, are key to the agreement.

A partnership with Georgetown University

The academic partnership with Georgetown University will begin on June 22, 2021 with a working seminar in Paris between the two universities, on the rue Saint Guillaume campus. 

The research projects conducted and financed within the framework of the McCourt Institute will be selected by a steering committee based at Sciences Po, which will meet twice a year.

Composed of members of Sciences Po ‘s leadership, the Sciences Po American Foundation, the McCourt Institute, Georgetown University and of scientific experts, this committee will submit high-impact academic projects from all areas of research at Sciences Po. 

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