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Annelida: Meetings

Kristian Fauchald Fauchald.Kristian at NMNH.SI.EDU
Fri Sep 3 15:55:49 EST 2004

The idea of having the posters up for the whole meeting is excellent, if the 
venue has the space for it.  One of the good features of the old American 
Society of Zoologists meetings was that the coffee breaks were usually 
inside the room where the posters were up, sometimes on one side, with 
commercial exhibits directly in front of the coffee, but at least in the same 
room.  These meetings are of course larger, and this used to fill one of 
the large ballrooms in a major hotel;  we really don't need quite that much 
space, but we do need adequate space for posters.  It may not be really 
easy to decide how many posters there will be at a meeting, but I would 
suggest that the Host committee go over the programs for the couple of 
meetings and try to figure out if there is sort a good number to shoot for.  

I agree that strictly taxonomic, one or a few species descriptions are 
rarely exciting as talks (but if you have a species like the ones Greg 
Rouse had in Madrid, that is not necessarily the case).  I also agree that 
the program officer of the host committee, rather than the whole 
committee or the host himself, should contact the submittors of vague 
abstracts and ask for more detail.  Sometimes it is difficult to put the 
detail in the abstract as early as needed, but at least the submittor can 
informally tell the committee what she or he expects to find, once the 
whole study is completed, and the committee can assign space or time 
based on that information (which would then be confidential, sort of).  

Frequency of meetings is a difficult issue:  I would very much like to 
know how many of us attend every meeting, how many attend only when 
the meeting is reasonably close (on the same continent?) and how many 
are one-timers.  For those of us attending always or at least not missing 
many meetings, we could plan for the every-second year schedule as 
part of our life.  But Jim is absolutely correct in that attending meetings is 
expensive for all of us.  Let us discuss this when we meet in Portland, 
preferably with a piece of paper in front of us, so we have some sort of 
exploration of what would likely happen if we shift frequency.  

Kristian Fauchald

Kristian Fauchald, Research Zoologist
Department of Zoology
NMNH, Smithsonian Institution
P.O.Box 37012, 
NHB MRC 0163
Washington, DC 20013-7012
phone: 202.633.1777
fax 202.357.3043
fax: 202.357.3043

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