The Crastina theme of April–May 2018: Alternative conference formats
Let’s face it: a lot of the events which we attend to learn new things, catch the new trends and get inspired have become dysfunctional. The big scientific meetings have become unmanageable, expensive gatherings where more and more energy is spent on noise and transportations. And when the size is not the problem, there are many other things which feel obsolete – like Death by PowerPoint culture, the non-productive formality and the lack of understanding of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
So what do you actually want to accomplish when you attend a scientific meeting? You certainly don’t want to waste your time, for sure, on the following things:
• listen to the Mayor of the hosting city and the Chairman of the Snotty Society give a thirty-minute talk about how great and important they and their friends are
• dozing off in a much too comfortable seat while a speaker with incomprehensible accent gives a poorly structured presentation
• come back to work, feeling jetlagged, only to find a stack of urgent obligations on your desk.
We are setting out to explore new ways of gathering people without a hassle and going right to business: no expensive fluff, no uncomfortable networking events, and no jetlagged-induced naps mid-session.
For the Crastina Crew
Alex Fitzpatrick, Zooarchaeologist, #Scicomm Blogger & PhD student @UniofBradford