When we first had this idea to gather scholars together, we repeatedly heard the suggestion to not have a traditional conference. While there is nothing wrong with the traditional conference, we understood that people really wanted to have the opportunity to talk with each other and discuss pressing issues around health and medical discourse.
We started thinking about other terms beyond conference. We landed on symposium because of the obvious reason; it means to get together to talk about a particular topic. But it also means–dating back to ancient Greece–a drinking party or convivial discussion. We’re trying to find the spot right in the middle where we can talk about a particular topic and have fun while we do it!
We also felt that a symposium would open up a space for us to discuss ways we could take risks and develop new ideas. Nothing spurs innovation like getting together a whole lot of like minded folks, and the current climate around health and healthcare requires innovative thinking and research.