As we are getting geared up for the final poster session of this MRS meeting, I am getting ready to experience the session as a viewer, rather than a presenter. This means walking through the door with a much different attitude. I typically separate my poster session into two components. First, I go through the aisle containing my peers in the 2D community. This is a great opportunity to see what the community is up to, meet people who are doing similar work. and even strike up possible collaborations. I will usually do this for about an hour. After I get this over with, I move on to the second phase: wander around the other posters that I know very little about and broaden my horizons.
I have a theory that you have the largest capacity to learn in subjects that you know the least about. For example, I can learn the basic principles of a subject that I know relatively little about, such as catalytic chemistry, very quickly. There are some fields in the MRS poster session that I didn't even know existed, that are just waiting for you to learn about them. This could lead to practical advantages, since success often comes to people that can apply the results of one field of study to the application of another. However, for tonight, it all starts with simple curiosity, and maybe some knowledge gained will pay dividends in the future.
Enjoy the poster session, catch up with your field, and always learn something new.