Convergence Symposium
Talks & Workshops


with the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities
February 11 - 12 Ticket Info

The Convergence Series is a Hopkins Center initiative bridging arts and sciences to advance arts-integrative research and address urgent challenges including climate change and other global ills.


Convergence is part of the Hopkins Center's ongoing commitment to making the arts indispensable to all academic disciplines, including STEM fields — a trend embraced by forward-thinking educators throughout the globe. 

The Symposium on February 11 & 12 launches the Convergence Series and will include academic and artistic presentations and public discourse (see below for full schedule).

The final of 21 such events held at universities across the nation over 18 months, the Symposium was originally scheduled for last spring and has been reimagined in a virtual format. It will bring together researchers, artists, students and higher-education administrators to explore how and why to bridge the divide between arts and sciences in the academy.

The symposium includes talks by interdisciplinary project leaders, including faculty as well as students, and artists working at the intersection of science and creative practice. The forum will also include practical break-out sessions to discuss strategies for cultivating interdisciplinary research across arts and sciences here at Dartmouth and at other institutions.

Free, but registration required.


The Convergence symposium is a collaboration with a2ru (The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities) in partnership with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). It is made possible in part by support from The Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society

Symposium Schedule

Thursday, Feb 11: Day 1
12:30–12:45 pm
12:45–1:15 pm NASEM and a2ru presentations (Ashley Bear and Maryrose Flanigan)
1:15–1:30 pm Performance 1 (Ash Fure)
1:30–2:15 pm Faculty Projects Presentations (Laura Ogden, Damiano Benvegnu, Matteo Gilebbi; Vicki May; Chad Elias)
2:15–2:30 pm Performance 2 (Miwa Matreyek)
2:30–3 pm Breakout sessions
7 pm A presentation featuring dancer/choreographer/scholars Emily Coates and Manou Phuon, incorporating a discussion, video, and a movement workshop related to their in-progress dance work inspired by ecological and astronomical research

Friday, Feb 12: Day 2
12:30–12:45 pm
Welcome (Barbara Will)
12:45–1:15 pm Keynote (Michael O'Rourke)
1:15–1:45 pm Performance 3 (Jenny Offill and Katie Stewart)
1:45–2:30 pm Student Projects Presentations
2:30–2:45 pm Performance 4 (Berndnaut Smilde)
2:45–3 pm Summary/Action Steps (Ross Virginia)

Accompanying film: The Hop is screening the film 2040 on demand February 11–17. It is a documentary about the central place of clean energy in shaping a world to pass on to today's children.

More schedule details coming soon.

Keynote Speaker Michael O'Rourke, Ph.D.

"Facilitating Convergence Through Dialogue: The Toolbox Dialogue Method"

When convergence of the arts, humanities and sciences works, it is both integrative and innovative, creating novelty at the confluence of perspectives. But simply bringing different perspectives together does not entail their integration — they could fly apart, reinforcing dismissive attitudes and exclusionary prejudices. Instead, integration should be facilitated, and one effective mechanism for facilitating integration is dialogue. In this talk, I will detail the history and practice of the Toolbox dialogue method, a philosophically-based approach to facilitating cross-disciplinary integration. The Toolbox dialogue method has been deployed in more than 370 workshops worldwide over the past 15 years, including many at the intersection of the arts, humanities, and sciences.


Michael O'Rourke is Professor of Philosophy and faculty in AgBioResearch and Environmental Science & Policy at Michigan State University. He is Director of the MSU Center for Interdisciplinarity and Director of the Toolbox Dialogue Initiative, an NSF-sponsored research initiative that investigates philosophical approaches to facilitating interdisciplinary research. His research interests include epistemology, communication and epistemic integration in collaborative, cross-disciplinary research, and linguistic communication between intelligent agents.

The "Branches From the Same Tree" Project

The symposium is the culmination of a multi-year project of a2ru in partnership with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Focused on studying the evidence surrounding integrating disciplines in higher education, the project's history is as follows:

2015: A meeting of more than 110 scientists, engineers, artists, humanists, educators, policymakers and industry executives convened by NASEM leads creation of a committee tasked with examining the evidence behind the assertion that educational programs that mutually integrate learning experiences in the humanities and arts with science, technology engineering, math, and medicine lead to improved educational and career outcomes for undergraduate and graduate students. 
2018: The committee publishes a report titled The Integration of the Humanities and Arts with Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Higher Education: Branches from the Same Tree, concluding that the evidence does in fact support that assertion. 
2018-2020: 21 town halls across the country gathering leaders and practitioners in a variety of fields to discuss and examine the findings of the NASEM report and collaborate on ways to integrate the findings into their regions and institutions.

Questions about Convergence? Please contact Samantha Lazar, Curator of Academic Programming at

Feb 11
Thursday 12:30 PM
Virtual Event 2h30m RSVP with yellow button above.
Feb 12
Friday 12:30 PM
Virtual Event 2h30m RSVP with yellow button above.

Upcoming Convergence Events

Upcoming Convergence Events

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