From Madison to Montpellier: Training “Global Scientists”

Think science is a universal language? Think again.

In 2005 Caitilyn Allen and Don Waller, faculty in the Department of Plant Pathology and the Department of Botany respectively, created a graduate exchange program between the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Ecole Nationale Superieure Agronomique de Montpellier (Sup Agro) in Montpellier, France. Their aim was to train global scientists with concrete technical skills and a broad perspective on how science works within specific social, regulatory, and political contexts.

The program has received funding from the French Foreign Ministry’s Franco-American Cultural Exchange (FACE) and the U.S. National Science Foundation’s International Research Experiences for Students Panel.

To date, about 25 graduate students from both institutions have participated in the exchange. Applicants come from a variety of disciplines that connect to environmental studies.

Read these Q&A’s with French student Benedicte Coude and American Leif Brottem to learn more.