Humphrey School launches new online social science collection

Civios is a multimedia resource launched by the school to engage the public and policy-makers about social science research


Courtesy Google Images

An image of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs from October 2016.

by Max Chao

University researchers hope to make their work more accessible with a new online collection.

The University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs launched a Civios, a new online collection,, April 10 after three years of development.

Civios is meant to make Humphrey school more accessible to field practitioners, policy makers and the public, said Kathleen Conners, Humphrey’s director of technology enhanced learning.

“[It] creates bite-sized, but not dumbed-down in any way, summaries of some of the key, most important research that is going on here,” said Laura Bloomberg, a Humphrey School associate dean.

Civios publishes content in various formats such as videos, podcasts, timelines and other visual mediums.

So far, the program has published content on issues such as predatory criminal practices, bicycle infrastructure and immigration history in the United States.

“I was very happy to have [this] opportunity because [it was] a free opportunity to make [my] work more impactful,” said Yingling Fan, an associate professor at the Humphrey School who made a video studying waiting time at transit stops for Civios.

Faculty members hope the program will help people see the value of university research amid potential federal funding cuts.

“We need to be very clear about public policy and planning research that’s happening,” Bloomberg said. “When people understand the value to them in their lives, I think people are going to be far less tolerant of a budget that says we need to substantially cut funding for research at universities.”

They also hope Civios will help people value reliable information.

“When you overlay the national climate right now of misinformation and fake news, I think that it is more important than ever before to take advantage of the unique skill sets that researchers have to make sense of the world,” Conners said.