Boston College’s new institute for integrated science, which will create a multi-disciplinary, collaborative research process to address critical societal issues in the areas of energy, health and the environment, was named in honor of BC Trustee Phil Schiller ’82 and his wife, Kim Gassett-Schiller, through a multi-year lead gift totaling $25 million.
The Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society will be the centerpiece of a new 150,000 square-foot science facility. Construction began in the spring of 2019 at a cost of roughly $150 million. The new building will represent the largest single investment in the sciences at Boston College. To date, more than $120 million has been raised for the new facility.
The mission of the Schiller Institute will be to create and sustain emerging initiatives in basic and applied science; educate the next generation of science and technology leaders and innovators; develop and deploy new tools and technologies to address important societal problems; and promote partnerships with industry and the public and private sectors. Through the institute, Boston College will explore new interdisciplinary courses in integrated and applied sciences, design thinking, implementation science, computer and data science, global public health and other fields that will combine elements of technology, engineering and entrepreneurship through collaboration with BC’s professional schools and its Shea Center for Entrepreneurship.
The Schiller Institute will be located in a new science facility adjacent to Higgins Hall, which houses BC’s Biology and Physics departments, and the Merkert Center, home to BC’s Chemistry Department. It will feature office and laboratory space for researchers, including engineering faculty, and teaching laboratories that will include computer science robotics and data visualization space. It will provide maker spaces to give students hands-on experiences in prototyping research, a clean room, and a collaboration commons for faculty and students. The new facility will also include space for BC’s Computer Science Department and Shea Center, as well as classrooms for its core courses, all of which will foster faculty and student cooperation across departments and schools, strengthen teaching and research in the sciences, and enhance the University’s ability to advance the common good through research focused on pressing global problems.
“The Schiller Institute will serve as a University crossroad for science and innovation that will integrate our existing strengths in the sciences with longstanding research strengths in the humanities, social sciences and the professional schools. The institute will advance Boston College’s distinction as a natural leader in integrated science, and a university that directs its research efforts to addressing the most challenging societal problems.”