President's Report Masthead
June 30, 2014

‘Quick Conversations’ event helps faculty explain research

Speed dating for researchers? That’s what Quick Conversations was all about. More than a dozen faculty from multiple disciplines came together on April 25 to learn about each other’s research – very quickly.

Sitting across from temporary partners, each person had only two minutes to explain a current research project to a colleague before switching to listening mode for the next two minutes. Each partner pair then had only one minute for Q&A before rotating to totally new partners to start the process all over again.

“The basic idea is that, in a very short amount of time, we share something about our research,” said Bat-Ami Bar On, professor of philosophy; chair of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities; chair of the Citizenship, Rights and Cultural Belongings Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence (TAE); and organizer of the session. “You don’t get to be polite, but nobody should feel rejected. This is not about rejection; it’s about connection. At the end, we will be more connected than we are now.”

With two interns keeping time and filling in when there was an occasional open chair, the clock started.

Ninety minutes later, and after only a few “stop interrupting me” comments, the consensus was: Quick Conversations was a rousing success.

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