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One final thought on conferences...

In this era of telecommuting, email conversations, and (maybe) phone calls, one might wonder what the point of conferences is. Can't we just download the paper when it appears in print?

My experience at MRS renewed my conviction that the human element of science is alive and well. It's the same reason why live theater and live music continue to be popular. Sure, we can download videos or mp3's, but sometimes, you just have to be there. You need to watch others' reactions to a talk, meet colleagues by chance in the hall, and scribble ideas on a napkin at the cafe. These moments make research come to life in ways that a paper on a website never could. Humans are social creatures, and conferences prove that even in the supposedly purely rational world of science, we still benefit from face-to-face contact.


Wendy Baker

Hey there, you have put so much time and effort into this, thanks for reading my last post and leaving a comment! I’ve recently started a blog of my own and have been posting on my travel notes. I had emailed to friends and relatives about your blog, catch you on the next one.

Janette Holand

I think thlouise important factor of having meetings face to face is that so many things are said by so many people, it sometimes just isn't possible to get everyone's idea down on paper. Having collective minds together in one room at one time is much better than having things printed out and then handed down.

Meetings are also very social and we as human beings perform better when in our natural working environments.

Just my thoughts though!

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