Science attracts many great minds who want to bring about positive, relevant change while also achieving a successful career. For scientists, finding meaning in their work can improve their overall wellness, enhance leadership, strengthen connections to society, and promote the value of science in modern times.
Meaningful Science is a 10-week series in a guided conversation format led by graduate students for graduate students in STEM-fields. Our aim is to initiate personal reflections on meaningful work, responsible group leadership, and societal impact within scientific research.
Society & Community
- Societal Changes: Participants reflect on community and the concept of responsible citizenship. In discussing current societal challenges, participants examine different approaches to problem solving and the integration of humanities within science.
- Responsible Research: Participants discuss the concept of responsible research through real-world examples and are provided with tools to facilitate research responsibility. Participants also examine the difficulties and trade-offs involved in responsible research. They prepare for authentically responsible research by evaluating personal, academic, and societal expectations and paradigms.
Social Impact, and Values
- Science Outreach: Participants confront the limits of science for supporting societal change and learn to embrace the importance of effective communication in the context of diverse perspectives, values, and worldviews.
- Science Advocacy: Participants explore situations in which scientists must go beyond conventional communication in order to make a positive impact as a science advocate. Participants also put experiences into action and role-play a scenario where different types of scientists and multiple stakeholders from business, industry, law, and greater the community are tasked to solve an issue.
- World Views: Participants survey the worldviews that encompass concepts of identity, work, human nature, responsibility, and justice. They also examine how these worldviews inform scientific practice.
- Personal beliefs: Participants probe universal, societal, and individual values. They learn how to determine self-values and how to recognize the values of others.
- Meaning: Participants reflect on the concept of meaning, and examine how they and others continually develop a sense of meaning in life and work.
Reflection: Participants reflect upon key insights from the previous workshops, share impacts on their current and future research, and develop goals and actions for their science careers.
As a group of graduate students, we will help each other develop our identities as scientists, challenge and articulate our worldviews, and engage in discussions to become responsible and impactful scientists.