Impact: Making a Better World

Discover how MIT's social sciences, arts, and humanities help make a better world through research, teaching, and collaboration in the following areas:

Basic Research; Health of the PlanetHuman Health; Innovation; Social InnovationArts InnovationTeaching and Learning; and the MIT Core.

On this page, you'll also find: The Human Factor, a series of interviews and stories on solving the political, cultural, and economic dimensions of major global issues, and 21st Century Citizenship, resources for understanding and engagement.

For a great online tour of the School's thirteen world-class disciplines, visit TOUR de SHASS

Join us in making a better world. 

MIT Campaign for a Better World

Basic Research

Health of the Planet

Human Health


Social Innovation

Arts Innovation

Teaching and Learning


The Human Factor

Making a Better World 

MIT's humanities, social science, and arts disciplines contribute to meeting the great challenges of our era through research, teaching, and collaboration. 

Research and Discovery 

Basic research is the lifeblood of a great academic institution, and research is also the engine for the School's capacity to effect positive change around the globe. To name a few areas of impact, MIT's SHASS research helps alleviate poverty; safeguard elections; steer economies; understand the past and present; assess the impact of new technologies; understand human language; create new forms at the juncture of art and science; and inform policy and cultural mores on a wide spectrum of issues including justice, healthcare, energy, climate, education, work and manufacturing, inclusion, and economic equity.


By empowering MIT students with political, economic, cultural, and historical perspectives, as well as skills in critical thinking, languages, and communication, MIT SHASS increases the capacity of every MIT graduate to serve the world well — with innovations and wisdom — across the broad range of humanity's challenges.


Because the great civilizational challenges of our time are all embedded in the cultural, economic, and political realities of the human world, "meaningful solutions," as MIT President Reif has said, "must reflect the wisdom of these domains." Ingenious and productive collaboration between science, technology, social science, arts, and humanities fields is one of the keys to solving the world's great issues. The best approaches start with a mutual framing of questions from the outset. For more on the significance of such collaboration see comments from the journal Nature.


In addition to MIT undergraduate courses in the communication skills needed for success in all fields, MIT-SHASS educates science journalists in two programs: the graduate program in Science Writing, and the Knight Science Journalism program. We also share the School's ideas and research through SHASS Communications, located in the Office of the Dean. 


Join us in making a better world. 

MIT Campaign for a Better World