Breakfast with the Scientists

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Freeman Dyson (center) chats with students over breakfast at PhysCon 2012.

Mentor Scientist Registration Form

How often do you get the chance to sit down with a professional physicist you don’t know over a plate of eggs and bacon? Breakfast with the Scientists, a special meal at PhysCon 2016, affords you this opportunity.

Breakfast with the Scientists is an opportunity for students to personally interact with professional physicists in small groups. Sometimes the only practicing physicists many students interact with are their professors, and this event affords them the opportunity to talk with scientists involved in careers outside academia. 

Meet professors outside your university. Chat with professionals outside of academia. We promise that it will be one of the highlights of your experiences at the congress.

But don’t take our word for it. Listen to other SPS members who have taken part in the event at past congresses:

“One of the highlights of this experience was meeting Dr. Frederick Dylla, executive director of the American Institute of Physics. We had a chance to inquire about his work during breakfast. My encounter with the inspirational scientist left me in awe of how driven passion can manifest itself in substance. His backstory was an autobiography of ambition led by an unorthodox path. As I recall, he started conducting experiments at the age of 12, and one of his most intriguing experiments involved his fascination with lasers. His love for lasers had an immense ripple effect in his profession, which is reflected within his published work. Certainly his great success paid homage to his childhood love. The old adage must be true: ‘Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.’”


“Dr. Mahdi Sanati, associate professor at Texas Tech University, told his table that undergraduates should enjoy all of their undergraduate courses and not hastily sign up for research during the semester because a strong academic foundation must be established in the undergraduate years. He also advised students to be knowledgeable in multiple fields and not confined to one exclusively. In addition to the wisdom students could gain from the scientists, it was equally valuable to see the interest that the scientists took in the lives of the students. The breakfast tables provided a level field where everyone took an interest in discussing and learning science.”


“Each of the scientists that participated was exceptionally involved and made it a priority to provide the students with useful and relatable information. During Breakfast with the Scientists, the undergraduate and graduate students ate at tables hosted by professional scientists, which opened us up to many career paths we had not considered. For example, as a result of this breakfast one of our members is now looking into the possibility of an internship with the US Federal Government.”


Workshop leader Shelly Arnold (center) visits with students over breakfast at PhysCon 2012.
Plenary Speaker and Physics Nobel Laureate John Mather (center) visits with students over breakfast at PhysCon 2012.
Jocelyn Bell Burnell (second from right) visits with students over breakfast at PhysCon 2012.