When we first had this idea, 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.
To that end, the format of the symposium will be focused on discussions and talking with one another. The participant information sheet asked you to answer a series of questions and to pose some of your own. The questions and answers will be the focal point of our discussions. We will spend some time in smaller groups talking about topics and then we’ll gather back together and share what we found. Our featured speakers will get us started with short presentations and then help facilitate the break out conversations.
In addition, we will be hosting two research methods workshops (link this to the page) that will help us think through ways to do inter- and trans-disciplinary research. These workshops are also open to UC faculty, and we’re hoping that the mix of symposium participants with faculty from other disciplines will help us think through and push forward our research method/ology.
Much of the information will be compiled and saved to our symposium website, and it will also be the foundation for the edited collection from our time together. In short, you’ve already done all the prep work for the symposium. Now, it’s just time to sit around and talk to one another!