Questioning in Research: A Practical Guide to Have Cooperative and Constructive Argumentative Dialogue

By Pablo Daniel Zavattieri

Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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In this Lunch and Learn Session we are going to discuss ways to have collaborative and respectful dialogues in academic/scientific research. In particular, we will try to focus on how to question and challenge ideas while respecting our colleagues. After a presentation on how we could frame research objectives and hypothesis we will have a small activity where students will have the chance to think about how they can ask questions to whoever is presenting research ideas. I will then proceed with a short research presentation where students in groups of 3 or 4 will have the chance to formulate such questions.

Finally, I will discuss some of many different ways on how we could use cooperative/collaborative and constructive argumentative dialogue to get the most of your conversations with colleagues, advisors, labmates, etc.


Pablo Zavattieri

Dr. Pablo Zavattieri is a Professor of Civil Engineering at Purdue University. Zavattieri received his BS/MS degrees in Nuclear Engineering from the Balseiro Institute, in Argentina and PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering from Purdue University. From 2001 to 2009, he worked at the General Motors Research and Development Center as a staff researcher, where he led research activities in the general areas of computational solid mechanics, smart and biomimetic materials. His current research lies at the interface between solid mechanics and materials engineering. His engineering and scientific curiosity has focused on the fundamental aspects of how Nature uses elegant and efficient ways to make remarkable and more sustainable materials. He has contributed to the area of biomimetic materials by investigating the structure-function relationship of naturally-occurring high-performance materials at multiple length-scales, combining state-of-the-art computational techniques and experiments to characterize the properties. His current research program includes the study of other remarkable natural microstructures, including mantis shrimp, chitons, beetles, fish scales, bird feathers, woodpeckers, bamboos, and organic nanocrystals. Prof. Zavattieri is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award, the Roy E. & Myrna G. Wansik Research Award, he is a National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Alumnus and a National Academy of Science Kavli Frontier of Science Fellow. He was recently appointed a Purdue University Faculty Scholar for the period 2015-2020.


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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Pablo Daniel Zavattieri (2017), "Questioning in Research: A Practical Guide to Have Cooperative and Constructive Argumentative Dialogue,"

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Room 1001, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN