The Center focuses on the interaction between science and society, including the role of society in the production of scientific knowledge and technological systems and artifacts and the effects of scientific knowledge on society. It seeks to explore and think critically about the process by which scientific information is communicated to the public and policy-makers. It fosters the use of science to enhance the environment, education, health care, public infrastructure, and justice. The Center carries out its mission through support of research, workshops, and public events. Beginning in September, 2016, the Center is the primary institutional home of the National Registry of Exonerations, a major database, research tool, and public information and accountability project.
The Newkirk Center encourages the use of high quality scientific findings and directs attention to areas where inadequate research has led to significant consequences for the public. Emphasizing health, the environment, community development, education, and law, the Newkirk Center embraces the following principles in its operations:
- Enabling scientists to connect more easily with policy makers, practitioners, and citizens.
- Fostering the development of science intended to serve the community’s needs.
- Harnessing the multidisciplinary capacities of UC Irvine.