Posts Tagged ‘Academia’

Sketches of conferensis

16 April 2010

By Juliana Adelman

Conference season is nearly upon us.  Oh, the academic conference…  On the one hand they are vital means of communication, feedback, idea sharing and ‘networking’.  On the other hand, they are overly numerous, expensive, time-consuming and often disappointing.  I have to say that I recall my first academic conference with considerable fondness.  I was in the first year of my PhD and I went to Manchester for the British Society for the History of Science’s annual postgraduate conference.  I was so nervous before my talk that I couldn’t eat and almost lost the half a sandwich I managed to stuff into my dry mouth.  On the way back from lunch with a group of my colleagues, a rather indiscreet participant told my fellow panelist not to worry about her talk as the other papers in her session sounded horribly boring.  He meant MY paper, of course.  Just the thing to calm the nerves.  However, once the talk was out of the way, there I was, surrounded by other people who also liked the history of science!  Hurrah!  Shared esoteric knowledge is truly salve to the lonely postgrad soul.  Now I have (mostly) got over the pre-talk jitters.  I have moved to the dark side of conference organisation, full of budget spread sheets, orphan bank accounts with strange names, nagging emails (mine), whining emails (theirs), revised programmes, registration forms and conference packs.  To be honest, I much prefer sweating over giving a paper. Read More