Graduate Summer Fellows Program Kicks Off With Orientation, Communications Workshop

This week, the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future welcomed the 2020 Graduate Summer Fellows. Over the course of the next 10 weeks, the Fellows will develop research papers to be considered for the Pardee Center’s publication series while participating in remote programs designed to advance interdisciplinary research and learning.

On the first day of the program, the Fellows participated in an orientation session hosted by Pardee School of Global Studies Dean Adil Najam, where he explained the Pardee Center’s history and mission, as well as the goals of the program, specifically to produce future-oriented, policy-relevant research papers; to continue building a community of scholars; and to be a unique, interdisciplinary learning experience.

Chip Heath

On the second day, the Fellows participated in a writing and communications workshop led by Pardee Center Associate Director Cynthia Barakatt. They discussed the challenges of communicating one’s research to an interdisciplinary audience and ways to overcome the “curse of knowledge” — the concept that experts assume that others have the background information necessary to understand complex ideas. For the second half of the session, the Fellows were joined by Chip Heath, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and co-author of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. Prof. Heath led an exercise to provide feedback on the Fellows’ two-minute “elevator pitches” describing the importance of their research in a concise and accessible way for non-expert audiences.

Learn more about this year’s Fellows and their research projects.