The symposium will convene researchers from different disciplines, foci, and geographic locations, and fosters in-depth conversations and research skills development. It is an ideal venue for training graduate students and incubating their burgeoning ideas. Thus, students in the class will attend the symposium, engage in conversations before and after attending sessions to reflect on how our perspectives changed, and create written assignments that will receive peer and instructor feedback. If the course is successful, I hope to add additional instructors and enrollment, we will expand the course and host it again each year we host the symposium.
Last week, the Microbes and Social Equity working group hosted its first ever symposium! We hosted 15 talks over 5 days, with each session melding presentations and active discussion groups.
In total, the symposium had 254 participants (467 registrants) from 22 countries, and including researchers from various fields and career levels, as well as members of the Maine State Legislation, and members of the general public. The breakout rooms resulted in 16 draft documents collaboratively written by meeting ideas, which highlight issues/barriers to social equity in research and practice, resources and policy ideas to resolve inequity, research questions yet to be answered, and ideas for curricula development and integrating research and policy into education.