City to host one of 11 statewide ‘Chew on This’ dinner parties

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hoosiers are invited to participate in a unique conversation model at restaurants across the state -- including Almost Home in Greencastle -- to discuss the nature of evidence and the ways we decide if it is reliable and valid. In other words, how we know what we know.

On May 9, Indiana Humanities will host simultaneous dinner conversations from 6:30-8 p.m. called “Chew on This: Are You Sure?” at nearly a dozen restaurants from Valparaiso to Greencastle as part of Indiana Humanities’ Quantum Leap theme that collides the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields with the humanities.

Andrew Cullison

At each location, the table’s conversation will be led by an expert facilitator, someone who grapples with questions about evidence, truth and validity every day, and why they matter.

Andrew Cullison, director of the Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University, will facilitate the conversation in Greencastle.

“The question of how we know what we know bridges both the sciences and the humanities, making it perfect for Indiana Humanities’ new thematic initiative Quantum Leap,” Cullison said. “I’m looking forward to hearing what curious and thoughtful Hoosiers have to say about this topic, and how I can relate it to my own experience.”

“Chew on This” is a program designed by Indiana Humanities to use the power of food and drink as a convener of people and catalyst for conversation to inspire thoughtful discussion on engaging topics. At multiple locations across the state, groups of 10-15 diners share a meal and conversation led by a trained facilitator. Indiana Humanities is partnering with Yelp on this event.

“We love programs where people gather around a shared meal because it breaks down barriers and encourages conversation,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “How do we know if something is true? What counts as evidence? How we answer these questions as individuals and as a society affects the choices we make — everything from how we read the news and vote, to how we choose the foods we eat and make healthcare decisions, to how our leaders set policy for the economy, the environment and more.”

Ticket prices range from $20-35 depending on the restaurant, and include the meal, a non-alcoholic drink, tax and tip. Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase for an additional cost at most locations. Space is limited and registration is required at

In addition to Almost Home, participating restaurants include: Indianapolis, Rooster’s Kitchen, Repeal; Carmel, Table at Market District; Bloomington, Finch’s Brasserie, Feast; Fort Wayne, J.K. O’Donnell’s; Muncie, Vera Mae’s; and Jasper, Brew.

In addition to Cullison, facilitators include:

--- Jane Ellery, Wellness Management, Ball State University.

-- Jonathan Elmer, English, and William Hetrick, Neuroscience, Indiana University.

-- Mel Fox, Indiana State Museum and Central Indiana Science Outreach.

--- David Hoppe, writer and editor, Valparaiso.

-- Alan Johnson, Vincennes University-Jasper.

-- Jason Kelly, IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute.

-- Stephen J. Ruberg, advanced analytics and global statistical sciences, Eli Lilly and Co.

-- Winni Sullivan, religious studies, and Elaine Monaghan, media studies, Indiana University.

-- Susanne Wasson, Dow AgroSciences.

-- Deanna Wooley, IPFW Department of History.

Quantum Leap explores and celebrates the spirit of possibility and problem-solving that occurs when we bridge the humanities with science, technology, engineering, math and medicine.

Indiana Humanities, which connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk, is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Lilly Endowment Inc.

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