World Science Scholars

Privacy Policy




World Science U is a program of the World Science Foundation, d/b/a World Science Festival (referred to collectively in this policy as “World Science U,” “we” or “us”), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational entity. Through the website(s) operated at the url (the “Sites”), WSU offers high quality online science explorations. Sometimes that means obtaining and utilizing, in certain specified ways, personal information from the users of our Sites. This privacy policy (“Privacy Policy”) applies to the personal information we collect about you through the Sites, regardless of media platform (e.g., computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.). (Please note that the World Science Festival may operate other websites, including, at the url, which have their own separate privacy policies that are not applicable here.) Your privacy is important to us, and this Privacy Policy is designed to make clear our intentions and approach to the collection and use of personal information in connection with our Sites and the choices you have. If you have any questions regarding this Privacy Policy, please reach out to us at





By using the Sites, you agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with the terms of this Privacy Policy, please refrain from using the Sites. Specifically, by submitting any Personal Information (as defined below in “Information We Collect & How We Collect It”) to us, you consent and agree that we may collect, use and disclose that Personal Information in accordance with this Privacy Policy. You have the option of refraining from submitting Personal Information and reviewing, updating and deleting Personal Information you have submitted (by contacting, and can limit your use of the Sites to those aspects that do not require Personal Information if you do not agree with our practices outlined in this Privacy Policy regarding Personal Information.





For the purposes of operating, improving, and monitoring the user experience on our Sites and World Science Festival operations generally, we collect various information from users of our Sites. This information is broadly of two types: Personal Information (meaning information which is personal to you and can be used to identify you, like your name and email address) and General Information (meaning information which cannot be used to identify you, like the number of users—but not their names—who have viewed a video).


General Information & Cookies


Parts of the Sites can be utilized without revealing any Personal Information. In these cases we may collect General Information including, but not limited to, pages visited, hyperlinks used, type of device used, and time on Sites. Collecting such General Information may involve logging the IP address, operating system and browser software used by individual site visitors, and from such information a user’s Internet Service Provider, geographic location, and other data could be inferred, but nothing which can be used to personally identify you. We use this information to understand how to service users of our Sites and improve our Sites and programs.

We do this through Google Analytics or other site analysis tools. Google Analytics uses “cookies”, which are text files placed on your computer, to help analyze how users use the Sites. Google Analytics generates aggregate statistics about our users as a group. We do not link this aggregate information to any Personal Information.

We may also use cookies to store and help track information about you to provide you with a customized and personal service (e.g., to keep track of where you are in a particular course and how you have performed on problems). 

Most browsers are initially set to accept cookies, and we assume that if you do not disable cookies you consent to use of them by us and and our service providers (e.g., Google Analytics).  Most browsers offer easy instructions on setting your browser to reject Google cookies or cookies in general. You may choose to do so at any time, but please note that various personalized functions and benefits of the Sites may not work properly if you reject our cookies.


Personal Information


For some elements of our Sites, submitting Personal Information is required, including your name and email address, among other things. This is primarily done so we can personalize your experience with data personal to you (for example, to track and display your grades in courses you have taken). We only collect Personal Information when you provide it to us directly. For example, we collect Personal Information when you register generally on our Sites, register for courses, participate in Discussions and other public forums (if your public name is your name, email address or other personally identifiable information or if you post Personal Information), exchange email messages (e.g., if you contact the help desk or request information from, elect to receive messages from us about the Sites and World Science Festival generally, and use various other personalized functionalities.





We use Personal Information we collect on our Sites as described below.


Identity Verification


For services that require identity verification, such as logging in or requesting a personalized Certificate, we use Personal Information that we collect to verify your identity, to confirm that submissions made on the Sites were made by you, and for similar purposes.




World Science U offers live Discussions for users to comment and/or speak with instructors or other users of our Sites. To facilitate your use of the Discussions, we may require registration. Your public name will appear next to any comments you make in Discussions. Therefore, if you use Personal Information such as your name or email as your public name, that Personal Information will be publicly available when you participate in Discussions. We may republish and reuse your comments with your public name (e.g., in future iterations of this course or to enhance other course offerings), and may archive this information for use in future communications with you. If you do not want your Personal Information to be associated with content you post in Discussions, please choose a public name that is not personally identifiable to you.


Registration and Online Courses


When you sign up at World Science U and/or register for a course or courses, we use the Personal Information you provide for processing purposes such as tracking attendance, progress and course completion. We may share your Personal Information, attendance, performance, or other metrics with relevant instructors, teaching assistants, and/or other individuals assisting in the creation and moderation of the course. These people will be required to maintain the confidentiality and security of your Personal Information. We may also archive your Personal Information for use in future communications with you as described in “Communication with You” below.


Communication with You


  • Responding to You. When you send us an email message or otherwise contact us, we use the Personal Information provided by you to respond. We may also archive this information and/or use it for future communications with you.
  • Service Messages. We may use the Personal Information you provide to us to contact you with service messages related to or affecting your use of our Sites, for example, to send you updates about your course and grade status, your account, new features, changes in our terms or policies, or maintenance-related issues.
  • Marketing Messages. We may use the Personal Information you provide to us to send you marketing messages, special offers, promotions, and other information about World Science U, other World Science Festival programs, and other products or services that we think may be of interest to you. You may elect to opt-out of these marketing messages at any time by following the opt-out instructions on the communications themselves or by emailing us at





Except as set forth in this Privacy Policy or as specifically agreed to by you, World Science U will not disclose any Personal Information we gather from you on the Sites. Below are situations in which we may disclose Personal Information to third parties.


Third Party Service Providers/Program Partners


We might share Personal Information with trusted organizations we hire or collaborate with in operating the Sites and our programs. For example, if we hire a third party to handle our help-desk function or work with a partner to help us to develop content and programs, we might share our email list with them to facilitate their work with us. Under all circumstances, however, these third parties would be required to maintain the confidentiality and security of any Personal Information.


Legal and Governmental Authorities/Protection


To comply with legal requirements that may arise, World Science U may share your Personal Information if requested to do so by legal or government authorities, or to protect our rights and property under the law. Such uses include, but are not restricted to: responding to court orders or subpoenas, to establish or exercise our legal rights or defend against legal claims, and to protect our property, including intellectual property and trademarks. In such cases we reserve the right to raise or waive any legal objection or right available to us. We also may share your Personal Information when necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal or suspected illegal activities and to protect and defend the rights, property, or safety of World Science U and its staff, its properties, our users, or others.


Disclosure to Acquirers


World Science U may disclose and/or transfer your Personal Information to an acquirer, assignee or other successor or potential successor entity in connection with a merger, acquisition, or other reorganization, provided that party agrees to treat your Personal Information with protections similar to those under this Privacy Policy.


Information Posted in Discussion Groups


If you post Personal Information in Discussions on our Sites, that information will be publicly available. If you are concerned about your privacy, we encourage you to use a public name that is not personally identifiable and to refrain from posting Personal Information in discussions on our sites.




To help keep our fundraising costs low and to be able to offer our Sites free of charge, on occasion we may share or rent our mailing list to other nonprofit organizations. You can opt out of this by contacting us at


Aggregated Data


We may share General Information, aggregated data or publish information based on aggregated data. However, we will only do so in a way that your personal identity is protected.





You may review, edit and delete the Personal Information you have provided to us by contacting us at

Please note, however, that even if you delete your information, there may still be residual information about you in our systems, for example in our log files.





It is your responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of your password.

You are also responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the Personal Information you submit to World Science U. Submitting inaccurate information, or failing to maintain the accuracy of information that changes (for example, a change of email address) may disrupt your ability to use World Science U, may affect the information you receive from us, and may impact our ability to contact you. You can update your Personal Information at any time by logging into World Science U and visiting your user account page.





World Science U may occasionally provide links to sites operated by outside parties (“Third Party Sites”) that we believe may be of interest to you. We do not disclose your Personal Information to these Third Party Sites without obtaining your consent. In addition, from our Sites you may be able to interact with social media sites (“Social Media Platforms”), for example, by “liking” us on Facebook. If you choose to click on a link to one of these Third Party Sites or choose to interact with or through a Social Media Platform, your activities are not governed by this Privacy Policy and will be governed by the privacy policy on that Third Party Site or Social Media Platform. Please review their privacy policies and terms of service before disclosing any Personal Information there. World Science U does not review, does not endorse, and is not responsible for the privacy practices of these Third Party Sites and Social Media Platforms.

We may also maintain a World Science U page on Facebook or other Social Media Platforms. Those pages and your interaction with them are governed by the privacy policies of Facebook or other relevant Social Media Platform, and not our Privacy Policy. As with other Third Party Sites, World Science U does not endorse and is not responsible for the privacy practices of these forums, although we may have a presence on them.





World Science Festival is committed to protecting the security of our users’ Personal Information. To that end, World Science U uses industry standard security practices to keep your Personal Information private, and to protect it from disclosure to or access by third parties. We will not share it with third parties, except as directed by you or as otherwise specified in this Privacy Policy. Please note, however, that we do not and cannot guarantee the security of Personal Information, and there is some risk that an unauthorized third party may find a way to circumvent our security systems, or that transmission of your information over the Internet will be intercepted.





We review our privacy practices from time to time, and these practices are subject to changes and updates, which will be effective immediately. We will notify you of any material change to this Privacy Policy by posting a notice on our homepage(s) for a reasonable period of time following such update, by reflecting the change on this Privacy Policy page, and by updating the Effective Date located at the bottom of this page. To ensure familiarity with the current version of our Privacy Policy, return to this page periodically. We will not apply any changes retroactively.





World Science U strongly believes in protecting the privacy of children. We do not knowingly collect or maintain any Personal Information on our Sites from persons under 13 years of age, and no part of our Sites are directed to persons under 13 years of age. If you are under 13 years of age, please do not use or access our Sites at any time or in any manner. Upon learning of the existence of Personal Information concerning persons under 13 years of age that has been collected on our Sites without verified parental consent, we will take appropriate steps to delete it. If you are at least 13, but not yet 18 years of age, you must obtain the permission of a parent or legal guardian before using our Sites.





This Privacy Policy shall be governed by the laws of the State of New York (United States), excluding any laws that might direct the application of the laws of another jurisdiction.  Note that we may store and process Personal Information on servers or on a cloud located in the United States or elsewhere. The data protection laws of New York and the United States generally may not be as comprehensive or the same as those in the country where you are located.  By using our Sites, you agree and consent that your Personal Information may be transferred to our facilities in the United States or elsewhere and those of the third parties with whom we share it as described in this Privacy Policy.





If you have any trouble logging in to our Sites, or have any privacy-related questions or unresolved problems, please contact us via


Effective as of May 1, 2020







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