It was indeed good to see you and others in Madrid and your comments are well
taken. I can comment on some of the issues you raised because I have been
around for all but one of the conferences, have been a past member of the
Advisory Council, and will be the co-host of the next conference (see below).
The number of posters presented in Madrid was over 130 by my tabulation and
they were divided into two 2-day sessions. I was personally not able to view
all of the posters and meet very many of the authors, there were just too
many. This was especially true for the second session, which was actually cut
a little short because there were business and other meetings to attend. The
Advisory Council actually discussed this issue and agreed that in future
meetings all of the posters should stay up for the entire week.
When the Polychaete conferences began in the 1980s, and the Advisory Council
was established and first met in Long Beach, one of the first issues that was
discussed was the content of oral presentations. It was agreed that papers of
a purely taxonomic nature should be presented as posters. It did not seem
appropriate for individuals to stand up in front of an audience and present
routine descriptions of species. This does not mean that the papers are not
important, only that oral presentations should be of an ecological,
biological, or theoretical nature not purely descriptive. This has mostly
worked well although a few descriptive presentations have appeared in oral
presentations at recent meetings. This year the Advisory Council indicated
that the content of the Abstracts submitted was sometimes too brief to
adquately evaluate the content of the presentation. The next Conference host
would be instructed to return such abstracts and ask for more detail.
As for the content of the oral sessions, this is usually the role of the Host
Conference committee. Normally oral presentations are grouped together into
topics; sometimes there are special sessions.
The frequency of meetings (every 3rd year) was established at the first
conference in Sydney in 1983, when Jorgen Kirkegaard agreed to host the
following in Copenhagen three years hence. I think this is a good frequency
because for many individuals international travel is expensive and needs to be
planned well in advance. It is also considerable work for the host of the
conference to not only plan, but reserve the venue required. For our upcoming
2007 meeting, we only have two possible dates to choose from and this is three
years in advance!
There have also been discussions over the years about a Polychaete Journal,
but there has, in general, been little enthusiasm for such an outlet. I am
much more interested in seeing Conference proceedings that are well reviewed,
and well edited both for content and language.
In week or so, Kevin Eckelbarger and I will provide preliminary information on
the IXth International Polychaete Conference that will be held in Portland,
Maine in August of 2007.
From: Sergio Salazar <savs551216 at hotmail.com>
Sent: Sep 2, 2004 4:03 PM
To: annelida at net.bio.net
Subject: Annelida: Meetings
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