I’m a new faculty member setting up a new seminar series in my small-ish department. Visiting speakers will come and present some of their work. The audience will ask questions during the talk and during a post-talk Q&A.

I’d like the seminar to be a space for thoughtful critique and commentary, while being respectful and constructive. I’d hope that attendance is reasonably high and most people in the room are engaged. In the end I hope that the sessions provide useful feedback for the presenter, and are Intellectually engaging and informative for audience members.

The two big things I see that I can do to support these goals:

  1. Get funding for some food to increase attendance.
  2. Model good participation myself, arriving prepared and asking constructive thoughtful questions.

How have others effectively run a seminar series? I’m interested in others’ experiences and constructive advice.

  • Why "present a paper"? Why not favor work in progress, instead? What can you "offer" speakers - not money?
    – Buffy
    Sep 8, 2022 at 14:06
  • @Buffy I mean paper to include a working paper and research design, not just a published paper. I edited to clarify. Although to be clear, I'm not asking advice on how to attract speakers Sep 9, 2022 at 13:45


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