Coral Reef Symposium
slcoles at bishopmuseum.org
Thu Nov 9 15:08:29 EST 2000
To Reef Symposium Organizers and Participants, past and future:
I wonder how many out there would agree that it would be a distinct loss
for Reef Symposium attendees to no longer have the opportunity to make and
view oral presentations? To those who attended Bali, I would ask the
following rhetorical questions re: proposals of going totally to poster
1. How many of the approx. 400 posters did you study in detail?
2. For those which you did, how much information did you derive vs. the the
typical oral presentation?
3. For those who made a poster presentation, how many questions and how
much interest were/was generated.?
We now know that it is possible to have about 1000 oral presentations
within a week, with time left for two plenarys a day, and have an excellent
symposium. I was astounded at how smoothly this went and how much
information I was able to gain, though of course there were inevitable
simultaneous papers I wanted to see. We all owe David Hopely and the
organizers a large thank you for making the conference work so well. The
turnout for Bali may have been higher than normal, simply because of the
place itself, and only time will tell if attendance continues to go up. If
we continue to increase exponentially, we might consider the approach that
my geologist friends tell me has been used effectively for their large
meetings. Each presenter prepares a poster and has 5-10 minutes in
mini-symposium sessions to present high points and generate interest in his
subject, and poster sessions are spaced throughout the week. These provide
good opportunity for interaction and discussion. Otherwise, an alternative
could be to limit the oral presentations to the first 1000 paid
registrants, a rather arbitrary approach.
Re: proceedings, the CD_ROM alternative offers distinct advantages in terms
of cost, portability, and convenience in searchability. Hard copy volumes
could still be made available for libraries and individuals who want them,
but the cost of these would probably increase with a decreasing economy of
scale as people went for the CD option. I have proceedings for five
symposia, and the pending proceedings volumes will exceed my bookshelf
space, with only 400 papers to be included. I would welcome it being
available on CD and being able to computer search topics of interest. I
believe web-based distribution of the proceedings is highly problematical,
for the many reasons already expressed by others on this list.
Finally, for those of you seeking another venue for orally presenting your
work between symposia, I draw your attention to the Pacific Science
Association, which has congresses and inter-congresses every two
years. The next will be in Guam in June 2001 and the following in Bangkok,
March 2003. Each will have sessions on coral reefs and biodiversity, and
these were well worth attending at the last congresses held in Fiji and
Sydney. There are also opportunities to interact with scientists working
outside of your immediate field. Starting in January, a US$40 annual
membership for PSA will include a subscription to Pacific Science journal,
and PSA also periodically produces a Coral Reef Newsletter on the Web. For
further information see http://psa.bishopmuseum.org/ and to join contact Lu
Eldredge at psa at bishopmuseum.org.
S. L. Coles, Ph. D.
1525 Bernice St.
Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
Ph. (808) 847-8256
Fax (808) 847-8252
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