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1871 and Illinois Science Council Announce Partnership and Speaker Series


Innovative Partnership Will Begin In December With Visit From XKCD Creator; Events To Take Place At 1871 Throughout Year, Including Annual Chicago Science Fest

CHICAGO (December 7, 2015) – 1871 and Illinois Science Council (ISC) today announced an innovative partnership that will result in joint STEM-focused events hosted at 1871, debuting with XKCD creator Randall Munroe visiting 1871 on December 10. 1871 will also play host to ISC’s annual Chicago Science Fest in May of 2016.

“I’m really excited to be working with 1871 to showcase the important work we’re doing to raise public awareness of science and to encourage more focus on STEM learning,” said Monica Metzler, founder and CEO of Illinois Science Council. “Science is everywhere, and in Illinois we have an opportunity to lead the nation in science understanding while also making science fun. I’m looking forward to attacking that challenge with 1871.”

Illinois Science Council is a nonprofit organization that engages, educates, and entertains the adult public about science, technology, engineering and math in their everyday lives. ISC showcases the scientists and research of the Chicago-area institutions and companies that make Chicago a vibrant location for scientific exploration. The organization serves as the science and technology complement to the region's extensive arts and culture offerings.

“Bringing people together is a key focus of 1871, and it is something we have had tremendous success with,” said Howard A. Tullman, CEO of 1871. “We continue to launch innovative partnerships with organizations that share our values because the power of working together on this sort of programming has a wide reaching and positive effect on 1871 and the tech community at large. ISC is a great partner for us, and we are thrilled to be announcing these upcoming STEM-focused events.”

The partnership between 1871 and ISC kicks off with a talk from Randall Munroe, creator of XKCD. Munroe will discuss Thing Explainer, his new book that includes a collection of large-format detailed diagrams of interesting objects, explanations of their parts, and descriptions of how the objects work. Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase Thing Explainer and have the book signed following Munroe’s talk.

ISC and 1871 joint events will take place throughout the year and will be promoted by both organizations. For more information, contact

About 1871  

1871 is the home of more than 325 early-stage, high-growth digital startups. Located in The Merchandise Mart, this 75,000 square foot facility is also the headquarters of nationally recognized accelerators, Techstars Chicago and Impact Engine; half a dozen industry-specific incubators in key areas such as real estate, education technology, food and financial technology; several emerging tech talent schools (Flatiron, The Fullbridge Program, Designation and the Startup Institute), and the state's leading technology advocate, the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition. It is the second home to Chicago-based VCs, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, MATH Venture Partners, Hyde Park Angels, OCA Ventures, OurCrowd and Chicago Ventures, as well as satellite offices for Northwestern University, University of Illinois, University of Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, and DeVry. 1871 has fast become recognized as the hub for the city’s entrepreneurial/technology ecosystem and has been featured in Inc. Magazine, TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business among other top media. 1871 is the flagship project of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center.

About ISC

Illinois Science Council inspires, educates, and entertains the public about science, technology, engineering and math by offering a variety of creative and engaging public outreach programs in partnership with area universities, museums, national laboratories, and companies. ISC works to raise awareness, understanding, and appreciation of STEM topics – and of the people engaged in this important work – by offering opportunities to exercise the human sense of curiosity. It showcases the scientists and the research of Chicago-area institutions to highlight the city assets that make Chicago the country’s leading “City of Science.” ISC aims to build Chicago’s reputation as a vibrant center of science and technology that is accessible to the public and recognized by the world.

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