Workshop: Science & Imagination, 5 Nov. 2019


Inspiring public interest in inquiry and discovery

An academic and public-facing workshop at the University of Connecticut (UConn)

5 November, 2019

Tentative time for public session: 3-5pm

We are living in what has been called a “post-truth” era [1], with an accompanying “post-trust” [2] crisis, where public confidence and interest in science and expertise is declining among significant segments of the public [3]. A tremendous challenge for proponents of scientific and academic inquiry — including scientists themselves, other scholars, educators, and journalists — is communicating not just the “what” of their work, but “why”, “how”, and “who”.

Scientists find the what of their work — the intricate details of research and analyses — fascinating, but communicating passion for details requires explaining why (not just costs and benefits, but intellectual curiosity and the quest for knowledge), how (why scientific progress can be so slow, technically difficult, and expensive), and who (demystifying how one becomes a scientist and opening the gates to underrepresented groups). Inspiring public imagination and interest in science is essential for earning public support for basic and applied research, and reinvigorating interest in scientific careers.  

Our aim with this workshop is to share ideas and brainstorm about ways to effect change. We hope to attract not just the academic community, but teachers, policy makers, students, and any other interested community members. We hope to share our ideas and excitement, and to listen to ideas from the public about how to connect scientists and community members through shared interest in inquiry and discovery. 

Confirmed invited participants so far include:

  • Michael Lynch, University of Connecticut, Philosophy
  • Tim Miller, writer, and science communication specialist, University of Connecticut 
  • Susan Schneider, University of Connecticut, Philosophy
  •  Michael Tanenhaus, University of Rochester, Brain and Cognitive Science
  • Julie Sedivy, writer and language scientist, University of Calgary, Psychology

        This workshop will be sponsored by the UConn interdisciplinary PhD training program in Science of Learning & Art of Communication and the UConn Humanities Institute. It will receive financial support from U.S. National Science Foundation grant 1747486, “Real-world communication: Future directions in the science of communication and the communication of science“, originally awarded to support a 2018 conference honoring Michael Tanenhaus on the occasion of him receiving the Cognitive Science Society Rumelhart Prize.

          [1] For example: (a) Lynch, M. P. (2016, 28 November).Fake News and the Internet Shell Game. New York Times. (b) Keyes, R. (2004). The Post-Truth Era: Dishonest and Deception in Contemporary Life. St. Martin’s Press. (c) Tesich, S. (1992, 13 January). Government of Lies. The Nation.

          [2] A term used by Åsa Wikforss in her public address, “Resisting the Facts”, contributed to a symposium on Presenting Science to the Public in a Post-Truth Era at the University of Connecticut, 24 May, 2019. 

          [3] A recent Pew Research Center survey (Funk, C., Hefferon, M., Kennedy, B., & Johnson, C. [2019, August]. Trust and mistrust in American’s views of scientific experts. Pew Research Center.) found overall trust in scientists to be quite high in the U.S.A. (with 84% of respondents indicating ‘a great deal’ or ‘fair’ amount of confidence in scientists), but support varies with political affiliation and education, and declines dramatically when linked to specific scientific issues that have become topics of political rancor, such as vaccines or climate change.


          Free workshop: The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH)

          Free Workshop: The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study Data User Workshop: Making Nationally Representative Inferences from the PATH Study Data

          Dates and Location: August 12 & 13, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan
          Instructors: Katy Edwards (Westat) and Jean Opsomer (Westat)

          The PATH Study is a household-based, nationally representative, longitudinal cohort study of approximately 46,000 adults and youth (ages 12 and up) in the United States. The study was launched in 2011 to inform the FDA’s regulatory activities under the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. This free workshop will consist of a brief overview of the PATH study and detailed discussion of sample design and weights for all types of PATH study data files (including youth, adult, biomarker, and state identifier data files). Participants will also gain hands-on experience working with the data and understanding the weighted results.

          The focus of this workshop will be on understanding and using the PATH study data files, not on a specific analytic approach. The workshop will be a combination of lecture, discussion, and hands-on exercises.

          The course is designed for academic faculty and research professionals as well as for graduate students interested in tobacco regulatory science and/or tobacco biomarkers of exposure. Participants should be comfortable with data analysis software and quantitative research methods. All examples and exercises will utilize SAS statistical software, although participants may use the software of their choice. The workshop will include two full days of instruction and exercises. To get the most out of the workshop, participants should plan to attend both full days.

          Prerequisites: Participants should have a basic understanding of secondary data organization and manipulation, fundamental data analysis skills, working knowledge of a statistical software package (e.g., SAS, Stata, and R) and a substantive interest in tobacco regulatory research.

          Application: Admission to this workshop is competitive. Enrollment is limited. Apply using the ICPSR Summer Program portal. Please upload the following documents with your application:

          • Current curriculum vita with a select list of publications. Please highlight your research interests and any experience and/or coursework relevant to the PATH study summer workshop, particularly prior experience with tobacco research and/or quantitative analytic methods.
          • Research project description. Priority will be given to applicants whose project description indicates interest in using the PATH Study data for tobacco regulatory research. The project description should include references to theory or historical context, how the project extends what is presently known, and why the PATH Study data are needed for the project.

          Application Deadline: May 10, 2019.

          Workshop sponsored by the National Addiction & HIV Data Archive Program.

          For more information, contact the ICPSR Summer Program at sumprog@icpsr.umich.edu or (734) 763-7400.

          Submit Papers for The 7th Annual Black Doctoral Network Conference

          The Black Doctoral Network Conference Committee is inviting abstract submissions for the 2019 conference themed “Fostering Change through Scholarship”. This year’s conference addresses the role of change, i. e., social justice and/or activism through scholarship. “Fostering Change through Scholarship” encourages attendees to consider how we can create change across social domains (individual, family, peers, school and neighborhood/community levels) in society via scholarship and to assess the variations of academic knowledge. The theme of the annual meeting asks: How does our work in public and private spaces impact scholarship and the lives of vulnerable populations? How are scholars of color flourishing in marginal spaces and fostering the flourishing of others through activism scholarship? We invite broad engagement between activists, scholar-practitioners and academics that address the conference theme.  Papers that will reflect on this theme are especially encouraged, but we accept submissions on any topic. The Conference will be an interdisciplinary event that brings together academics and professionals from the social sciences, STEM, and humanities to address how we can positively impact and inform each other’s work and engage with our communities. Submission of abstracts from graduate and doctoral students, recent Ph.D. graduates and academic professionals across disciplines are welcome.

          Submission Deadline: Sunday, March 17, 2019 at 11:59PM EST.

          To submit an abstract visit: blackphdnetwork.submittable.com/submit


          We accept abstracts from (1) individuals who wish to present on a panel and from (2) groups who want to create their own panel. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words typed, double spaced, using a 12pt font. Submissions should be anonymous – please do not include your name or the name of your institution on the document. Include the title of your abstract and note whether it is an individual or a group submission. All group submissions require at least three presenters.

          Submitting author will receive a confirmation message upon submitting the abstract. Acceptance announcements will be sent via email in late April to the submitting author. Accepted presenters and co-presenters must register for the conference and confirm their acceptance by June 9, 2019. Failure to register and confirm acceptance by June 1st will result in rescinding acceptance.


          Your presentation should describe the purpose, methods and conclusions of your research. You may not submit or take part in more than one panel presentation; presenters may give one and only one paper at the conference. Individual presenters will be assigned to a panel and will have 15 minutes to deliver their presentations. Group presentations will be given 45-60 minutes to deliver their presentations.


          In addition to interdisciplinary panel presentations, this conference will have interactive roundtables. Professors and corporate professionals from various fields will converse and give insight on the need for interconnectedness throughout the academy and community. Workshops on handling job talks, grant writing and proposals, balancing relationships, and stress and time management will also be addressed.

          For questions regarding the Call for Papers please contact:

          Deandra Taylor  at DTaylor@blackphdnetwork.com

          Announcing HCP Course 2019, July 8-12 in Portland, OR!

          We are pleased to announce the 2019 HCP Course: “Exploring the Human Connectome”, to be held July 8 – 12, 2019 at the University Place Hotel and Conference Center at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, USA. 
          This 5-day intensive course will provide training in acquisition, processing, analysis and visualization of whole brain imaging and behavioral data using methods and tools developed by the WU-Minn-Oxford Human Connectome Project (HCP) consortium.

          The course is designed for those interested in:

          • using HCP-style data currently available from the young adult HCP and HCP Lifespan (Development and Aging) projects
          • acquiring and analyzing HCP-style imaging and behavioral data at your own institution
          • processing your own non-HCP data (including legacy data) using HCP pipelines and methods
          • using Connectome Workbench tools and sharing data using the BALSA imaging database
          • learning HCP multi-modal neuroimaging analysis methods, including those that combine MEG and MRI data
          • positioning yourself to capitalize on HCP-style data forthcoming from large-scale projects currently collecting data (e.g., Lifespan HCP development and aging longitudinal
          • data and Connectomes Related to Human Disease projects)
          • learning how to obtain data from the NIMH Data Archive (NDA) and setup processing in an Amazon Web Services (AWS) environment

          Participants will learn how to acquire, analyze, visualize, and interpret data from four major MR modalities (structural MR, resting-state fMRI, diffusion imaging, task-evoked fMRI) plus magnetoencephalography (MEG) and extensive behavioral data.  Lectures and labs will provide grounding in neurobiological as well as methodological issues involved in interpreting multimodal data, and will span the range from single-voxel/vertex to brain network analysis approaches.  

          The course is open to students, postdocs, faculty, non-profit and industry participants.  The course is aimed at both new and current users of HCP data, methods, and tools, and will cover both basic and advanced topics. Prior experience in human neuroimaging or in computational analysis of brain networks is desirable, preferably including some familiarity with 
          FSL and Freesurfer software.

          For more info and to register visit the 
          HCP Course 2019 website. If you have any questions, please contact us at: hcpcourse@humanconnectome.org
          We look forward to seeing you in Portland!

          2019 Kavli Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience

          Application Deadline Approaching – 2019 Kavli Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience

          The topics for the 2019 Kavli Summer Institute will be:

          Week 1: Intersections Between Neural Representations and Network Models

          Directors: Danielle Bassett (University of Pennsylvania) and Jörn Diedrichsen (University of Western Ontario)

          Week 2: Computational Social Neuroscience: Advances, Challenges, and New Directions

          Directors: Leah Somerville (Harvard University) and Luke Chang (Dartmouth College)

          To apply: https://sicn.cmb.ucdavis.edu/

          APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 31st, 2019, 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)

          The Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience is supported by NIMH, NIDA and the Kavli Foundation in collaboration with the Center for Mind and Brain at UC Davis, and the Sage Center for the Study of the Mind at UC Santa Barbara

          Dissertation Boot Camp – January 14th-17th

          Dissertation Boot Camp

          Monday, January 14th, to Thursday, January 17th, 9am – 4pm 

          Storrs Campus, Pharmacy Library


          NEW SIGN-UP OPTIONS! You can now sign up for 2-, 3-, or 4-day boot camps! 

          Maintaining momentum on your dissertation can be tough, but making a commitment to structured writing time can help. Writing in the presence of others can also bring a sense of solidarity and productivity that can get you through even the toughest projects. 

          Participants will arrive with their writing projects on and their laptops, along with any notes or books. There will not be any tutoring or any lectures. The point is simply to make a commitment to sustained writing time and to generating pages.

          Space is limited and preference will be given to 4-day participants. To reserve your spot and to create an incentive for you to write, you must register through Eventbrite and submit a promissory note for $50. An electronic version of the promissory note is now available on the Writing Center website and should be signed and email to gradwriting@uconn.edu. Hard copies are also available at the Writing Center. If you do not attend the days you have committed to, the Bursar’s Office will charge you and we will use the funds for future retreats. Scheduled academic commitments do not count as absences.

          Contact Gali at gradwritinguconn@gmail.com with any questions.

          CARMA 2018-2019 Consortium Webcast Program

          Methods Resources:  UConn is an institutional premium member of CARMA (Consortium for the Advancement of Research Methods and Analysis), which offers a variety of webcast lectures FREE OF CHARGE to CARMA members.  Anyone with an @uconn.edu e-mail address can register on the CARMA website and access the CARMA library of webcasts (back to 2004), all available On Demand.  Information about the 2018-2019 schedule of speakers/topics can be found here:  CARMAmembership–info2018-2019.

          Contact Janet Barnes-Farrell (janet.barnes-farrell@uconn.edu) if you have questions.


          Living Lab

          Having problems recruiting people on campus?  Looking for kids, teenagers, older adults, or other hard-to-recruit populations?  Consider recruiting in the Living Lab at the Connecticut Science Center in downtown Hartford.  You’ll get a chance to recruit many participants across a wide variety of age groups for free!  We even have a lot of the equipment for you. For more, please contact Chris Heffner, christopher.heffner@uconn.edu, for a consultation.

          See the flyer below for more information!

          Living Lab Flyer 2018-09-04