Indiana Humanities invites diners to chew on discussions about evidence, validity


Participants enjoy a facilitated discussion at a previous ‘Chew on This’ event. (Submitted photo)

By Desiree Williams

Indiana Humanities will host the seventh “Chew on This” event at 6:30 p.m. May 9 at 11 restaurants throughout the state. Led by an expert facilitator, guests will participate in discussions about evidence, validity and reliability as they enjoy a meal.


“We always like to say our mission is to get Hoosiers to think, read and talk,” said Leah Nahmias, Indiana Humanities director of programs and community engagement. “We’re always interested in program formats that get people to do those things.”

“Chew on This” started in 2010 during a thematic initiative focused on food and agriculture. It was a way to incorporate food at an event and allow people to have a natural conversation. This year’s event, “Chew on This: Are You Sure?” is focused on discovering what counts as evidence and why people believe something to be true.

“This is a question that kind of ties into both the sciences and the humanities, and since our new thematic initiative ‘Quantum Leap’ is all about the intersection of science and humanities, we thought it was a great ‘Chew on This’ topic,” she said.

Each conversation will be led by someone who deals with questions about evidence and validity on a daily basis. Susanne Wasson, commercial unit leader at Dow AgroSciences and co-chair of the ‘Quantum Leap’ steering committee for Indiana Humanities, inspired this topic and will lead the discussion in Carmel.

“It was really her idea, this question of how we know what we know and her sense from working in her industry and working in (agriculture). That this is a question consumers ask all the time,” Nahmias said.

Instead of finding an answer to thequestion, Nahmias said she is more concerned with the quality of each conversation.

“I’m always agnostic about what I want people to believe after they leave an event,” she said. “What I want to do is create space for people to talk about this question with each other.”

Tickets range from $20 to $35 depending on location. Tickets include the meal, a non-alcoholic drink, tax and a tip. There is a limit of 15 guests per location.

To purchase tickets, visit


  • Carmel: table by Market District
  • Indianapolis: Rooster’s Kitchen, Repeal
  • Bloomington: Finch’s Brasserie, Feast
  • Fort Wayne: J.K. O’Donnell’s
  • Greencastle: Almost Home Restaurant
  • Muncie: Vera Mae’s
  • Jasper: Brew

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