Conferences should include sessions about failed experiments
Symposium Assisting: front row seats & cool hello’s

A proposal: live brainstorming sessions

Questions between audiences and speakers have opportunities to combine expertise from different fields and research backgrounds. The interactions have been really interesting to listen to - I especially love the moments when an audience members goes “Have you considered ___?” and the speaker pauses, turns on an inquisitive face, and responds “Actually no, but that’d be very interesting! Let’s talk.”

What if we had a session entirely based around interaction? What if we gathered a room of brilliant materials scientists and posed a grand technical challenge or even a kind of quirky, funny question like how would you make the comfiest chair material possible? (You may guess this is influenced by the fact that it’s Friday and we’ve been sitting through a whole week of symposia by this point).

Then, you could format it like a game show - start the timer and give people time to think. Then, we could see how some of the top minds approach problems, what kind of questions they’d ask in order to come to better solutions, and potentially inspire future projects. 

One of the highlights of MRS is the fact that we have some one of the densest agglomerations of talent in material science from all over the world. What if we took that to our advantage  in a grand slam of a materials science-focused ideathon?

(This  idea was generated by my one 5-Subway-sandwich-tall self - I’m sure it could be 100x better with the collaboration of brilliant minds around(: )


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