Registration is Open for Presenters

Registration is now open for presenters. Please follow the presenter registration instructions to complete the registration process. We will collect information about meals, dietary restrictions, technology and transportation needs that will help us provide the services you need for the conference.

Please complete this form by August 15.

Again, we stress the necessity of making proper hotel reservations as soon as possible.

If you have a colleague who would like to attend the meeting, registration for attendance only will open on August 01. If that individual would like a reminder email when registration opens, please have them email jefffid.2012[at] and we would be happy to add them to the distribution list.


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Meet the Keynote 2: Promoting Science

Keynote speaker, Phil Plait, has devoted his life to communicating science to a broad audience. A particularly interesting post features storms on Saturn. This post combines awe-inspiring images with descriptions that invoke terminology that relate this seemingly disparate event to common experiences on Earth.

Planetary scientists use observations of objects in the Solar Systems to help us better understand the Earth, and vice versa. The same mechanisms creating weather on Saturn are applicable on Earth, but many of the difficulties of studying weather on Earth can be removed. For instance, the storms on Saturn occur far above its surface, which greatly simplifies the computational difficulty of modeling the storm.

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Meet the Keynote Speaker 1: Phil Plait

We are honored to have Phil Plait as our keynote speaker for “Fact, Fiction and Supposition” this Fall. Best known for his “Bad Astronomy” blog hosted by Discover Magazine, Phil obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia working for Professor Roger Chevalier. While a graduate student, Phil started exploring his ability to write about science for a broad audience. After taking positions at the Space Telescope Science Institute working with instrumentation for the Hubble Space Telescope, Phil currently is a full time writer, promoting science literacy, a healthy dose of skepticism and critical thinking.

Phil is known for a straight, no-nonsense lecture style that reaches to the heart of an issue. This approach has made him a popular contributor to many National conferences that focus on critical thinking and/or science. For instance, he is a regular panelist for “The Amaz!ing Meeting”, an annual conference to discuss science, skepticism and critical thinking. The conference is sponsored by the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), for which Phil served as President from 2008 to 2010. The principle focus of the meeting — and much of Phil’s personal work on Bad Astronomy — is taking a critical thinking approach to many of the current topics in the news. The conference not only discusses these topics, but works to reach solutions for educators and other outreach professionals to promote critical thinking at an early age.

Phil perfectly fits the role of the ideal Keynote speaker for the Forum for Interdisciplinary Dialogue (FID) — an individual who promotes constructive discourse between fields, who connects professionals and academics and an individual who can engage a large audience with his message. Phil’s work promotes the very same key ideals as the FID, namely that progress is born through a continued discourse that must reach across many of the common divisions in our ever-connected, yet ever-fragmented modern world. This message speaks to the heart of the accepted speakers for this conference: a devotion to critical inquiry, a dedication to evaluating the “truth” and a drive to bring these messages to as diverse an audience as possible.

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Release of the Call for Papers

We have finalized our Call for Papers (CFP). The CFP will be disseminated over the next few days via email.
Abstracts will be accepted until 26 April 2012.

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Planning is Underway


The Forum for Interdisciplinary Dialogue is planned entirely by committees of Jefferson Foundation Graduate Fellows! The fellows not only conceptualize the conference, but also do all of the logistics work — from building this website, to blocking hotel rooms and sorting through abstracts. This is truly a unique aspect of the Jefferson Fellows Program and special opportunity for professional development.

In only the last week, we have made significant progress toward the our goal to announce the conference! We anticipate posting the official Call for Papers within the next week.

We hope you will check back soon to learn more about our exciting conference!

FID 2012 Planning Committee

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New Conference, New Website


Welcome to the website for the 2012 Forum for Interdisciplinary Dialogue. We are currently in the process of putting the final touches on the general planning for our conference.

We hope to post the Call For Papers, Keynote and Local Information soon!


FID 2012 Planning Committee

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