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Life Science Conferences

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Stuff below is learnt, retrieved, copied from URL [www.scienceboard.net/studies/studies.asp?studyId=142], in November 2009.

The Science Advisory Board recently asked 1,000 members to share their opinions on life science conferences and exhibits.

In 2002, The Science Advisory Board surveyed members on their experiences with conferences, so we were able to make some interesting comparisons regarding the changes that have occurred since then. Compared to 2002, the vast majority of scientists either place the same or a greater degree of importance on attending scientific conferences. This heightened importance is borne out by a 54% increase in the mean number of conferences scientists attended in 2002 as compared to 2008. Currently, the mean number of conferences scientists attend annually is 3.7.
Blogger note: Due to N constraints, I can only attend 1 conference / annum 😦 Be grateful! Be grateful!
The vast majority of these conferences are on the smaller side with respect to the total number of conferees (100 to 1,000 people).

Half of respondents were uncertain as to how new media — such as online conference reporting, attendees’ real-time blogs, podcasts of presentations — would affect conference attendance. Of the remaining 50%, scientists were evenly divided as to whether they thought such advanced communication technologies would either increase or decrease conference attendance.

The Ideal Scientific Conference
While slightly more than one-half of the scientists surveyed attend small conferences (100 or fewer attendees), nearly two-thirds of respondents actually prefer conferences that are between 100 to 1,000 attendees in size. Study respondents also had specific preferences for conference length, cost, date, and location. The most popular choices were 2 to 3 day conferences, a $251 to $500 registration fee, May, and San Diego or San Francisco locations.

The “Best” Scientific Conferences
Members were asked to identify which conference they think is the best in terms of oral presentations, poster presentations, and keynote address/plenary lectures. Interestingly, almost 20% of respondents indicated the same conference across all four categories suggesting that when scientists think highly of a given conference in one area, they will, to some extent, think highly of the conference in other areas as well.

Below are the top nominations for the entities organizing “the best” in these important categories:

Best Oral Presentations
1. Keystone Symposia
2. Gordon Research Conference
3. (tie) American Association for Cancer Research and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Best Poster Presentations
1. Keystone Symposia
2. American Association for Cancer Research
3. (tie) Gordon Research Conference and Society for Neuroscience

Best Keynote Address/Plenary Lectures
1. Keystone Symposia
2. American Association for Cancer Research
3. (tie) Gordon Research Conference and Society for Neuroscience

Preparing for attending one in 2010. Let’s work smart and hard together!

Pondering:
Small conferences tend to be held at more isolated venues, and my sponsor is unwilling to pay for the transport from the airport to the conference site. I still remember paying hundreds bucks from my limited student pocket.
Solutions:
1) Please attend a big conference held at a major city, where I could get public transport to the conference site. No money, no journey. When learning and research have to be compromised due to funding, we could not help not to sigh, but I promise I won’t complain.
2) Please beg around, especially from those whose names are included in the work.

My personal comments:
Both Keystone and Gordon have so many topics to choose from, so they cover wide range of interests. This may boost up their impacts and perceptions.
Rankings are good for bench-marking, but please don’t trust them 100%. The same goes for universities / institutes, journal impact factors, and millionaires.

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Written by blueroselady

November 14, 2009 at 3:13 am

Posted in sciences, travel

Tagged with , ,

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