Do babies matter in science?
How to draw a crowd...

Halfway through...

Image I find MRS always peaks on Wednesday. All the people who are late are finally here, and everyone who was here on time hasn't left yet. Not to mention conference fatigue that usually hits around Thursday. 

I gave a talk this morning in Symposium EE on Identification of Secondary phases in Cu2ZnSnS4 thin films. This was my first talk at MRS and I was definitely more nervous than I usually am while presenting. In retrospect I probably should have practiced the talk a few more times before getting in front of a large audience. All in all, it went pretty well, I supposed I can be happy about the fact that no one stood up and told me my conclusions were entirely wrong :)

On that note, have you noticed that most rooms always have the one "older" (perhaps a better way of saying "older" is "brilliant and experienced") researcher who is willing to ask presenters the really tough questions and sometimes completely disagree with their conclusions. Apparently this was a common occurrence during talks in the past (20 or more years ago) and has completely changed as of late. During a recent meeting with my advisor, he described how, as a grad student, he had watched a researcher get completely ripped apart by the audience at a talk. I have NEVER seen this happen. At best, one of the researchers from that time will politely disagree with the presenter who will do a really good job of dodging the question.

Why is it taboo to disagree with one of your peers? As scientists aren't we supposed to be skeptical of any and all conclusions? 


Saniya LeBlanc

Your talk was great!

I don't think it's taboo to disagree with your peers. I do think it's rude to be hostile in questioning their results and conclusions. Skepticism is fine, but it shouldn't be paired with negativity. I do think we should engage in discussions, though, particularly in Q&A sessions.

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