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MSU’s Toolbox Dialogue Initiative Wins the 2018 Prize for Excellence and Innovation

Friday, September 28, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Erin Shepherd
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MSU's Toolbox Dialogue Initiative Wins the 2018 Prize for Excellence and Innovation

NEWARK, Del. — Sep. 28, 2018 — The American Philosophical Association (APA) and the Philosophy Documentation Center (PDC) are pleased to announce that the 2018 Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs has been awarded to Michigan State University’s Toolbox Dialogue Initiative.

Peter Baumann (Swarthmore College), who chaired the selection committee, said, “The Toolbox Dialogue Initiative (TDI) is a well-established and extraordinarily successful project dedicated to the fostering of communication and collaboration across different disciplines as well as to the public understanding of philosophy. It is workshop-based and uses philosophical ideas and methods to attain its goals. Participants engage in structured dialogue which is one of the best ways to reach interdisciplinary cooperation. TDI also has a proven record of giving important impulses to teaching and research. In the last year alone, TDI held 35 workshops in 7 countries (a good number of them appealing to undergraduate and graduate students as well as to postgraduates). There is convincing empirical evidence about success so far. This excellent project is very much deserving of the Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs.”

The Toolbox Dialogue Initiative provides a philosophical yet practical enhancement to cross-disciplinary, collaborative science. This enhancement comes primarily in the form of a dialogue-based “toolbox workshop,” and it is intended for interdisciplinary and interprofessional teams of collaborators. Rooted in philosophical analysis, toolbox workshops enable cross-disciplinary collaborators to engage in a structured dialogue about their research assumptions. This yields both self-awareness and mutual understanding, supplying cross-disciplinary research (CDR) collaborators with the robust foundation needed for effective collaborative research and practice.

The Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs has been jointly sponsored by the APA and the PDC since 1999. It recognizes philosophy departments, research centers, institutes, societies, publishers, and other organizations for creating programs that risk undertaking new initiatives in philosophy and do so with excellence and success. The prize award, provided by the PDC, includes campus-wide electronic access to a bundle of philosophy resources for one year and an award plaque. It gives professional recognition to the winning program and also benefits its host institution.

About the APA

Founded in 1900, the American Philosophical Association promotes the discipline and profession of philosophy, both within the academy and in the public arena. The APA supports the professional development of philosophers at all levels and works to foster greater understanding and appreciation of the value of philosophical inquiry.

About the PDC

The Philosophy Documentation Center has been serving scholars on a non-profit basis since 1966, earning a reputation for excellence with the publication of essential reference materials, scholarly journals, book series, conference proceedings, and other materials. Our goal is to expand the reach of philosophical work outside the classroom and increase cooperation among philosophers everywhere.


Amy Ferrer
APA Executive Director

George Leaman
PDC Director


This release is also available as a Microsoft Word document.

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