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S&S Dinner Dialogues

Bringing Duke University students, researchers, and faculty together from across campus to engage in meaningful and ongoing conversation about the broader social implications of scientific and technological progress. Subscribe for Updates!

Program Details:

S&S Dinner Dialogues are informal opportunities for students, post-doctoral fellows, researchers, and faculty from all backgrounds, to come together over donuts, dinner, or dessert to participate in engaging, probing, and timely conversation about the ethical and societal implications of scientific and technological progress.

Most dialogues are hosted in the home of faculty sponsors who will lead a discussion on a topic or theme of their choice. Through these conversations, we hope to deepen the culture of responsible progress of science and technology at Duke and in the world.

In order to cultivate a rich experience, attendance is limited to no more than twenty attendees and care will be taken to select participants with diverse professional and cultural backgrounds, professional interests, and areas of study. In addition, priority will be given to participants who have not attended an S&S Dinner Dialogue before and who can explain their particular interest in the topic and faculty host. Those who show interest but are not immediately selected will be placed on a waiting list and notified of any changes as the event approaches. For more information on this process, select an option from the program details menu on the right.

Join us and help lead the way toward better integration of ethics and policy into scientific and technological progress in society through these upcoming dinner conversation!

Upcoming Dinner Dialogues

Some scheduled events are not yet available for attendance requests. Those that are will have an RSVP icon linking off to a page with more details. Check back often as we continue to update the series with over 60 dialogue opportunities!


Faculty Host Topic Date
Dr. Nita Farahany Neuroscience and Behavioral Genetics in the Courts – Neuroscientists are generally opposed to the use of neuroscience in the criminal courtroom, but could it improve accuracy and decrease errors in the system? September 10th, 2018
8 p.m.
Dr. Kate Scholberg Chasing Neutrinos – Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe
Join Dr. Scholberg for dinner and a discussion on this elusive particle, why the fundamental science is so important to our understanding of the universe, and how it might practically affect our lives.
to October 3rd
Dr. Sonke Johnsen The Internet’s Affect on Self-Worth & Personal Dreams September 26th, 2018
7 p.m.



Show / Hide List

Faculty Host Topic Date
Dr. Anthony Galanos Patients & Their Families During End of Life Care


October 1st, 2018
7:00 p.m.
Dr. Lori Bennear Autonomous Vehicles: Good or Bad for the Planet? October 2nd, 2018
7:00 p.m.
Dr. Kate Scholberg Chasing Neutrinos – Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe
Join Dr. Scholberg for dinner and a discussion on this elusive particle, why the fundamental science is so important to our understanding of the universe, and how it might practically affect our lives.
October 3rd
7:00 p.m.
Professor Sallie Permar Topic TBD October 4th, 2018
7:30 p.m.
Dr. Alexander Rosenberg Neuroscience and narrative explanation, the theory of mind, interpretive social science and the humanties. October 10th, 2018
7 p.m.
Dean Stephen Nowicki What can birds really tell us about humans? October 16th, 2018
7 p.m.
Professor Kevin LaBar The feasibility and ethics of emotional mind reading. October 17th, 2018
7 p.m.
Dr. Kenneth Rogerson Do You Trust What You Like? – When Social Media & Politics Mix October 18th, 2018
7 p.m.
Professor David McAdams Big data and the future of privacy. October 23rd, 2018
7 p.m.



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Faculty Host Topic Date
Professor Bill Adair Topic TBD November 7th, 2018
Time TBD
Professor Walter Sinnott-Armstrong Moral Artificial Intelligence November 8th, 2018
7 p.m.
Dr. Sharron Docherty Death and dying in a medically technological and curative focused world. November 12th, 2018
Professor Jeff Ward GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks) – a system of system of competing neural networks used to create realistic content from machine systems. November 13th, 2018
7 p.m.
Professor Jonathan Weiner Topic TBD November 14th, 2018
7:30 p.m.
Dr. Charles Gersbach Ethics and societal implications of genome editing. November 27th, 2018
7 p.m.
Professor Priscilla Wald Topic TBD November 28th, 2018
7 p.m.



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Faculty Host Topic Date
Dr. Misha Angrist Theranos and startup culture. December 6th, 2018
7 p.m.
Dr. Richard Bedlack Discussion will revolve around the new Right to Try law.


December 13th, 2018
7 p.m.


All 2018-2019 Hosts

Professor Bill Adair
Dr. Misha Angrist
Professor Dan Ariely
Dr. Jeffrey Baker
Dr. Raymond Barfield
Dr. Richard Bedlack
Professor David Bell
Dr. Lori Bennear
Dr. Miles Berger
Dr. Emily Bernhardt
Professor Donald Beskind
Dr. Hayden Bosworth
Dr. Ornit Chiba-Falek
Professor James Coleman, Jr.
Dr. Amy Corneli
Dr. Felipe De Brigard
Dr. Sharron Docherty
Professor Nita Farahany
Professor Michael Frakes
Dr. Anthony Galanos
Professor Bradi Granger
Dr. Ron Grunwald
Dr. Sara Haravifard
Professor Brian Hare
Horner Stacy Horner
Professor Sonke Johnsen
Sara H. Katsanis
Dr. Jeremy Kay
Professor Daniel Kiehart
Dr. Dennis Ko
Dr. Bradley Kolls
Professor Kevin LaBar
Dr. Jennifer Mah Lawson
Professor Hiroaki Matsunami
Professor David McAdams
Dr. Jeffrey Moe
Dr. John Moses
Dr. Brian Murray
Dr. William Parker
Professor Sallie Permar
Dr. Kenneth Poss
Professor Timothy Profeta
Professor Arti Rai
Professor Allison Rice
Dr. Barak Richman
Professor Laura Richman
Dr. Kenneth Rogerson
Dr. Alexander Rosenberg
Dr. Charmaine Royal
Dr. Jana Schaich Borg
Professor Kate Scholberg
Dr. Christian Simon
Dr. J.H. Pate Skene
Dr. Corinna Sorenson
Dr. Dori Steinberg
Professor Karrie Stewart
Dr. Beth Sullivan
Dr. Donald Taylor
Dr. Jessica Tenenbaum
Professor Michael Waitzkin
Professor Priscilla Wald
Professor Kevin Weinfurt
Dr. Jory Weintraub
Professor Jonathan Wiener
Dr. Marty Woldorff
Dr. Gavin Yamey

Participant Selection

The S&S Dinner Dialogues is committed to selecting a new audience for each dinner composed of participants with diverse professional and cultural backgrounds, professional interests, and years and areas of study. To accomplish this goal, the program staff will offer priority to participants who have not attended an S&S dinner before and who explain their interest in the topic and the faculty host. Students, post-doctoral fellows, researchers and faculty of all backgrounds, majors, degrees, etc. are welcome to sign up.

Participant Notification & Follow-up

Participants accepted to a dinner after they signed up through the S&S website will be notified by the Dinner liaison at least 3 days before (and often earlier) for the dinner for which they signed up. Along with their notification of acceptance or wait-listing, students may also receive reading materials recommended by the host. In such cases, students are encouraged to read the materials and to come prepared to engage in a lively conversation.


We expect that the number of interested participants will be higher than the number of seats open for each dinner. Therefore, will keep a waitlist. If seats become available after one or more accepted attendees cancel their participation, we will notify the waitlisted participants and assign the available spots in order.

Code of Conduct

The S&S Dinner Dialogues have been established by the Duke Initiative for Science & Society with support from the Office of the Provost with the goal of bring undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and faculty together across campus to engage in meaningful and ongoing dialogues about the broader implications for society of scientific and technological progress. Students and faculty participating in this program are expected to listen to each other’s perspectives and act with respect, cross-cultural sensitivity and an open mind.


Location for pickupThe Science & Society Dinner Dialogues Program will offer transportation to participants. All attendees who are taking the group transportation must be in front of the North Building (located on 304 Research Drive) no later than 10 minutes before the designated pick-up time. You will be notified of the precise pick-up time, which will vary based on the distance of the host’s location. If you are late, you will be responsible for your own transportation. Participants will also be given the address of the dinner in advance, and can choose self-transporation to the event.

Cancellation Policy

If you unable to attend a dinner that you signed up and have been accepted to attend, you are required to give the Science & Society Dinner Dialogues Liaison member responsible for your dinner notice at least 24 hours in advance.

If your notification is not received on time you may be prohibited from attending Science & Society Dinner Dialogues for the remainder of the semester.