About the Shaw Institute

Improving human and ecological health through innovative science on a local and global stage. 

The Shaw Institute is a nonprofit scientific research organization founded in 1990 by environmental health scientist Dr. Susan Shaw. Over three decades, our research on plastics, ocean pollution, flame retardants, and climate change has informed public opinion and fueled policy, impacting millions of people in the U.S. and worldwide.

Our Research 

From plastic pollution to climate change, join Shaw Institute for a deeper look at our changing world and help us create a healthier future. See our new projects here.

Safeguarding the Maine Outdoors
Edge of Extinction: Marine Mammals of the Northern Hemisphere

Is More Plastic in Our Future?

Will oil companies continue to flood the world with plastic or invest in reduction?

Shaw Institute Founder Dr. Susan Shaw speaks with Discover Magazine’s David Taylor about our plastic future and what will catalyze change.

"I think we're at an inflection point with plastic," says Dr. Shaw. Studies have even found microplastic particles in the human placenta. "That says we have a lifetime exposure to plastic in children who are born today."

Read the full article here.

Shaw Institute Founder: "We are a catalyst for change"

How does a small research Institute impact huge global issues – ocean pollution, plastics, microplastics, flame retardants, fire fighter cancer, climate change?

Tune in to hear our Founder Dr. Susan Shaw describe the Shaw Institute's unique brand of science that responds to real world problems and finds real world solutions.

Focus Areas

Through its focused initiatives, the Institute addresses critical health and environmental issues related to toxic chemical exposure among people and wildlife. From ocean plastics to human and wildlfie exposure, we strive to bring science-based solutions to these priority concerns.

Human Exposure

Plastics and

Marine Wildlife Exposure

Oil Spill Response

Maine Coast Monitoring

Lecture Series

Your contribution supports our work to protect human and ecological health. Thank you


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