When I was revising The Scientist’s Guide to Writing for its forthcoming 2nd edition, I had a problem: too many topics I wanted to cover, and not enough space under my word limit to do it. That means my book has gaps. That’s no surprise, of course; every book does. But one gap that irked me is my coverage of poster presentations. Many posters are dreadful, there are few resources for those wanting to do better, and my book disposes of posters in a couple of hundred words. Ugh.
Well, I have good news. The gap in my book is now filled – more than filled – because I can simply cite Zen Faulkes’s new book, Better Posters: Plan, Design, and Present an Academic Poster. Continue reading
Some folks sit; some folks sprint.
I was once a determined sprinter. Before a conference, I’d study the programme carefully, highlighting and circling and starring talks that looked promising. Then I’d assemble my schedule: a talk in this session, a talk in that one, a couple of talks in a third, all before the morning coffee break; then back to the same frenzied pace with muffin crumbs still dangling from my lip.
If you’ve tried this, you know how it goes. Continue reading
Image: Puzzle pieces CC0 via pxhere.com
Well, not just me, of course. I co-organized* a conference (this one). Still.
So, quick post this week – as I write, I’m procrastinating some last-minute tasks; and when this posts, I’ll be on the conference centre floor putting out (hopefully metaphorical) fires.
Here’s what I learned organizing a conference (and it won’t surprise any veteran of the task): the task is much, much bigger than you think; and even after you’ve adjusted what you think because you know it’s much, much bigger than you think, it’s still much, much bigger than that. Continue reading
At the 2018 conference of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution, 5 friends and I put on a workshop on the use of Twitter in science. Today: slides and commentary from Alex Smith‘s piece of the #CSEETweetShop. How can you use Twitter to share the word about your own scientific publications? And how does it help?
I’m an imposter (begins Alex). I joined Twitter in September 2013 looking for a way to promote and distribute the photos and videos that I take in the field. The way I had done this in the past (individual blogs or websites) was getting views only from my family at first, and then slowly it seemed, not even them. So I joined Twitter because I thought it was the social media platform that would help me promote the work my lab does. So speaking at the CSEE 2018 symposium on Twitter and Science I felt a bit of an imposter because since October 2013, my Twitter experience has been all about learning from others. But here we go…tweeting your research, why would you want to; and then some suggestions for how to go about doing it. Continue reading
At the 2018 conference of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution, 5 friends and I put on a workshop on the use of Twitter in science. Today: slides and commentary from Shoshanah Jacobs’ piece of the #CSEETweetShop. How can you use Twitter in connection with a conference, to increase the reach of your science and of others’?
I’d like you to reflect for a moment about all the things that your body had to do over the last few days to get it to where you are sitting now. Perhaps you took a flight, perhaps you used public transportation, perhaps you maxed out your credit card, waiting for a reimbursement. Maybe more importantly: who isn’t here with us, and why? Continue reading
Image: Composite. Book cover, The Scientist’s Guide to Writing; and Entomology 2018 logo, by Michael Blackstock for the Entomological Society of Canada and the Entomological Society of America. Find the story behind the meeting logo here.
Just a quick announcement, which will be of particular interest to readers who are considering attending Entomology 2018 (the joint annual meeting of the Entomological Society of Canada and the Entomological Society of America, in Vancouver, BC). At that meeting, I’ll be leading a workshop on scientific writing. Continue reading
Image: Empty session room, CC0 via MaxPixel.net
See that room in the photo above? Soon I’ll be sitting in it, and you probably will too (most of the conferences I attend, at least, happen in the summer). I just booked some travel, and that got me thinking conference season. Continue reading
Image: Joe Wolf via flickr.com CC BY-ND 2.0
I need your help, because I was asked a question and didn’t know the answer. Read on…
Conferences are an important part of life as a scientist. They’re a valuable part of network-building and a chance to exchange the newest ideas, the newest techniques, and the newest results. But they’re also exhausting – and particularly so for scientists who are introverts, and find the crowded rooms and halls and the non-stop social interaction draining. Plenty of scientists are introverts – I’m one – and so this isn’t a trivial issue. I wrote some time ago about how I manage going to conferences as an introvert. But until just last week it never occurred to me to wonder about the issue from the other end: to wonder what conference organizers might do to make conferences more welcoming to introverts. Continue reading
Photo: Wall of SPAM © Lee Coursey via flickr.com CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Esteemed contributor. Revered speaker. Renowned researcher. You get these e-mails too: invitations to publish papers in fake* journals, to join fake editorial boards, to speak at fake conferences. I’d certainly known I got a lot of them; but that was unquantified, because I usually just grin at their clumsy phrasing and then delete them without further thought. “What”, I thought, “would happen if I kept track of them all for a month? Would I learn anything? Could I milk a blog post out of it?” Continue reading
Image: Part of the conference programme for the 2016 International Congress of Entomology.
I’m never surprised when I open up the programme for a conference and see a “Student Competition Session” – a bunch of grad (or sometimes, undergrad) student talks gathered together and judged for prizes*. Not surprised, but mystified, because I find this distinctly weird. Continue reading