Tell Me More: Humanizing Our Research

Shirley Tilghman and graduate students discussing around a table

Tell Me More: Humanizing Our Research

Cohort participants connect with Shirley M. Tilghman, President of the University Emerita and Professor of Molecular Biology and Public Affairs.
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Join distinguished faculty (including President of the University Emerita Shirley Tilghman and Professor Tracy K. Smith) for a dinner series that will help you connect your research with specialists and non-specialists alike. Whatever your field and aspirations, your success as graduate students and shapers of society depends on your capacity to make your research relatable for the widest possible audience. And to do this, you must reveal the human qualities—curiosity, resolve, enthusiasm—that make your work possible, as well as the ramifications—the ripples extending outward from your lab benches and library carrels—that are of greater interest to non-specialists than the intricacies of the work itself. In other words, you must be able to explain, concisely and persuasively, why your research matters, both to you and to others.

Tell Me More is a six-part series of 90-minute dinner conversations for graduate students who wish to heighten their professional impact by conveying the personal and social significance of their research to those who do not share their expertise. Meeting monthly from 6:00-7:30 p.m. between January and June, 2020, you will have an opportunity to converse with distinguished members of Princeton’s faculty who can help you engage successfully with an audience that transcends the boundaries of your disciplines and the academy itself. Hosted by John S. Weeren, founding director of Princeton Writes, this initiative is jointly sponsored by the Graduate School, the Humanities Council, and Princeton Writes.


Faculty and the topics they will address include:

Shirley M. Tilghman, President of the University Emerita and Professor of Molecular Biology and Public Affairs

Sharing the Wonder of What We Do, January 15, 2020

William A. Gleason, Hughes-Rogers Professor of English and American Studies

Writing Transparently, February 5, 2020

Tamsen O. Wolff, Associate Professor of English

Speaking with Our Bodies, March 4, 2020

William C. Jordan, Dayton-Stockton Professor of History

Engaging the Academy at Large, April 8, 2020

Derek B. Lidow, Keller Center Scholar in Entrepreneurship, Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education

Pitching Our Ideas to Non-Academic Partners, May 6, 2020

Tracy K. Smith, Chair, Lewis Center for the Arts, and Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor of the Humanities

Becoming a Public Intellectual, June 17, 2020

Participation is limited to 12, and attendance at all six sessions is expected.

To enroll, RSVP here and submit a curriculum vitae and a short statement describing how you hope to benefit from this experience to James M. Van Wyck, Assistant Dean for Professional Development, Office of the Dean of the Graduate School, at

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