by Ben Olyrod
​Building a Community of Practice in Diverse Intelligences
TWCF Number
Project Duration
December 1 / 2018
- November 30 / 2021
Core Funding Area
Big Questions
North America
Amount Awarded

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Dr. Jacob G. Foster
Institution The Regents of the University of California

This project aims to build a community of practice in Diverse Intelligences (DI) in 3 ways:

  1. connect creative minds to exciting ideas;
  2. connect individual researchers and storytellers across disciplinary lines; and
  3. generate new ideas and approaches

To pursue these goals, the project will spearhead 4 interlocking activities.

Activity 1: The team will run annual, month-long iterations of the Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute (DISI). DISI aims to attract young scholars worldwide to the interdisciplinary study of intelligence, train them in cutting-edge methods, and inspire them to make bold connections.

From 2019 to 2021, DISI will take place each summer at the University of St Andrews. With a roster of world-class faculty, DISI will recruit 40 risk-taking, open-minded academics from across disciplines, as well as 5 storytellers who will communicate DI themes through their creative work. Schedules will mix lectures with discussions on cross-cutting questions. Participants will develop interdisciplinary projects—key to generating new approaches to the study of DI.

Each year, the directors will measure DISI's success in changing participants’ concepts of intelligence, and incubating interdisciplinary projects and novel collaborations.

Activity 2: The DI Summit will run during a few days of DISI. On the first day, DI grantees will give updates on their research. The second day will focus on developing new collaborations. The third will focus on communicating DI work to the public. A subset of grantees will be invited to lecture at DISI.

Activity 3: To connect minds across disciplines and generate new approaches, DISI will award Synthesis Prizes.

Activity 4: To guide the community’s growth, the team will conduct a “science of science” project on the emerging field of DI. Using computer-readable records of scientific activity, they will map the social and conceptual structure of the disciplines within DI, tracing their evolution over time. They will also conduct a qualitative study of this emerging field and explore the effects of TWCF funding.

Project Resources
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