This is a key component to our training environment, one that directly confronts and fosters interdisciplinary science. All trainees and a high proportion of training faculty attend every breakfast, which meets monthly during the academic school year.
A unique aspect of the ‘presentations’ is that they are billed as interactive, and speakers rarely have the opportunity to complete their prepared remarks. Speakers are interrupted frequently with requests to define terms for an interdisciplinary audience and out of sheer curiosity.
The presenters are CTRD trainees and training faculty, IU faculty who are not part of the Training Group, applicants for CTRD postdoctoral traineeships, and visiting scientists (e.g. David Crews, UT Austin; Nicole Cameron, Binghamton U; Timothy Grieves, Max Planck Institute of Ornithology; Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, UC Davis).
Also provocative are the occasional non-scientists who have spoken (e.g., from Gender Studies, Brenda Weber on ‘metaphor and the body’ and Colin Johnson on ‘queer theory, diversity and sexual difference’).
Successful alternative careerists have inspired special interest (e.g., Kent Dunlap, Trinity College on conducting research in a liberal arts college; Danielle Whittaker, Michigan State U, on managing an NSF Science and Technology Center).
We have devoted a few breakfast research forums to trainees who are presenting each other’s work (‘swapping roles’), working together to understand their colleague’s methods and data, and then present that understanding to the group.
We hold monthly training grant breakfasts on selected Wednesdays at 9 am, at the CISAB Building (409 N. Park Avenue).