2020-2021: The Nature of Trust

For the 2020-2021 academic year, the NDIAS seeks to foster interdisciplinary study of the nature of trust, with a broad range of perspectives, topics, and methods. Fellowship applications are encouraged from all eligible scholars and scientists whose work engages the theme and who are interested in advancing their project through interdisciplinary reflection, discussion, and collaboration at the NDIAS. Potential research proposal topics on the trust theme may address, but are not limited to:

  • the social, technological, biological, economic, and psychological dimensions to how trust may be manifested;
  • the moral and rational demands we have when it comes to belief, evidence, intellectual humility, and social forms of knowledge;
  • concepts of trust related to public information, discourse, speech, and the media, in historical as well as modern contexts;
  • trust as a component in transactions and finance;
  • evolutionary modeling of trust and interdependence;
  • institutional features that promote or inhibit trust (both contemporary and historical);
  • the role of design thinking, network theory, and data science in promoting or inhibiting trust;
  • the role of trust in theological inquiry and in religious traditions; and
  • creative research and research in the arts that explore trust, doubt, and related virtues.

Meet the 2020-2021 Fellowship Class

Guest Speakers

Susan Choi

Renowned fiction writer Susan Choi, winner of the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction for her book Trust Exercise, will visit the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study and discuss her ongoing work with NDIAS Fellows and invited guests.

Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction.  Her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize.  Her third novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award.  In 2010 she was named the inaugural recipient of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award.  Her fourth novel, My Education, received a 2014 Lammy Award.  Her fifth novel, Trust Exercise, won the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction. Her first book for children, Camp Tiger, was also published in 2019.  A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, she teaches fiction writing at Yale and lives in Brooklyn.


Public Presentation Workshop

Kevin Friesen

This 3-day retreat, led by Kevin Friesen of the Duarte Group, focuses on developing high-level skills for oral communication with non-specialist audiences and understanding the types of engagement that encourage accessible and open dialogue.

Participants will develop valuable presentation skills, such as how to incorporate story-telling into academic communications and how to visualize research presentations like a designer.

The workshop will conclude with a group project and presentation that utilizes the information and tips shared during the retreat.

August 17-19, 2020


Public Writing Workshop

James Ryerson

This 2-day workshop, led by James Ryerson from The New York Times, focuses on writing book excerpts and research-based op-eds for prestigious news outlets.

Ryerson will lead a discussion on a range of public-writing topics, such as how to craft effective public-engagement pieces, how to get a piece of public writing published, and how to navigate the challenges and opportunities that come with public engagement.

Participants will also receive extensive feedback, both from Ryerson and their peers, on a piece of public writing of their own.

January 11-12, 2021