CPNAS - Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences
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What are the DASER ‘Wonder Workshops’? 

Wonder Workshop discussions are a series of online Zoom salons exploring a variety of topics. These workshops are gatherings that bring together thought-leaders who cut across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, and design with the purpose of sharing ideas, creating new connections and communities, and growing capabilities for flourishing systems. 

Current active discussion threads include: Art & Science Exhibit Evaluation, Vaccine Hesitancy and the Arts, and Imagining Gulf Futures. As we begin building communities of practice through these gatherings, share with us your stories, challenges, and vision for what is needed in the communities you serve. Help craft these critical cross-cultural conversations, animate the communities around them, and lead the activation that comes from them.

Learn More and Join the Conversation and Activation

Find out what these Wonder Workshop salons look like.

If you are interested in participating in a DASER Wonder Workshop, please contact JD Talasek, Director, Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences, at jtalasek@nas.edu.

History: Building on DASER

For over 10 years, Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS) has hosted an event called DC Art Science Evening Rendezvous (DASER). These regular in-person public salons brought together perspectives from different areas of knowledge for conversation and cross-disciplinary discussion. During the pandemic, lessons were learned about using internet meeting spaces to facilitate discussion. This has led to the next iteration of DASER - what we are calling Wonder Workshops. These online salons bring together experts around a common theme or shared interest to generate an ongoing discussion aimed towards fostering cross-disciplinary collaboration and potential projects.  

Additionally at the end of 2019, a group fostered by Ryan McGranaghan was emerging to explore the liminal spaces between art, science, engineering, design, and all the places where those domains reach. Then, the pandemic hit and in the virtual-everything that core group decided to launch a new series of gatherings for the big discussions that required plurality and consilience. These gatherings were modeled on the salons of the 18th and 19th centuries—seats of cultural hubs and actuators of cultural and intellectual development–and centered the idea of a flourishing society. They were called ‘Flourishing Salons.’ For two years, Flourishing Salons provided critical discussion, information and tools to cultivate a new sensibility and plurality of thought.

In 2022, CPNAS’ DASER, working in collaboration with the Flourishing Salon community, began hosting Wonder Workshops with the goal of activating new communities of practice that permit intersectionality, liminality, and consilience (thinking and thriving in the liminal spaces between fields). 

Wonder Workshops are organized by CPNAS as an extension of the DASER series. The goal of the Wonder Workshops is to build on the past 10 years of success fostering cross-disciplinary networking and conversations among practitioners working at the intersection of art and science.

DASER is co-sponsored by Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS) and Leonardo, the International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology. DASER fosters community and discussion around the intersection of art and science. The thoughts and opinions expressed in the DASER events are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the National Academy of Sciences or of Leonardo.

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