Who needs a long walk on the beach when you can sip wine, gaze into a potential partner’s eyes and dream of all the things you’d like to do to their data?
At the Computational and Systems Neuroscience (Cosyne) conference in Utah in February, 15 experimentalists and 15 theorists and data analysts pitched their talents in a speed-dating-style event.
In a typical speed dating experiment, men and women rate potential partners as either a "yes" or a "no" depending on whether or not they want to see that person again.
Men almost always rate a larger percentage of women as a "yes" than women do men, and, according to this paper, this is a fairly robust finding that generalizes over many different contexts.
The authors of this study had the men remain still and had the women change seats, and found that this was all it took to wipe away the usual pattern: when the women were required to physically approach while the men remained still, the women became less selective then the men, reporting greater romantic interest and "yes"ing partners at a higher rate.
Each pair chatted for three minutes to figure out if they had potential for a scientific spark and then moved on to the next candidate.
At the end of the event, participants chose three people they wanted to collaborate with.
The annual CEE Research Speed Dating event, held this year on Feb. “From the massive amounts of materials we use to build our cities to the oceans that sustain life on our planet, many of the problems are highly interconnected, and require us to break out of conventional thinking and academic disciplines,” says Professor Markus Buehler, head of CEE.
“Accelerating research breakthroughs requires new cross-disciplinary approaches.