Bali/Japan - one wish

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg oveh at
Sun Nov 5 16:43:01 EST 2000

Dear Robert,

Thanks for the opportunity to throw in two cents.  This was a wonderful
conference - at any point I could have gone to stellar talks in at least three

There has been talk that the conference has become too large.  Some say that we
should split the meeting into two or three - perhaps along science versus
management.  This would be regrettable from my perspective - without sounding
too obvious or clichéd, to split would be to ignore the fact that reef studies
from pure to applied is currently more about integrating than splitting.  For
example, many of us from the pure science background are only just waking up to
the key issues and challenges of management and the more economic and social
aspects of coral reefs.

So - what can we do?  I feel that we have to drastically change the way we run
the meeting.  I have given some thought and wonder if the following might work:

a.  The full text of papers would be available a month before the meeting on the
b.  Authors would give a 5 minute overview of their papers plus a 5 minute
question/answer session.  The key here is that the talks are more to profile the
paper (what the question/theme was, what methods were used and what the results
tell us).  Details about methods would be already in the hands of the audience
via the papers.
c.  Following the talks in a half day collection of papers, the session chairs
would then host a 30 minute synthetic review.

The advantages of the above would be that the numbers of papers would drop to
some extent.  That is, only authors who produced would talk. Secondly, with
shorter presentations and deliberate periods of synthesis, the conference would
achieve what conferences are meant to achieve (namely synthesis and review
rather than endless reporting - no criticism to anyone intended).  Thirdly, by
reporting papers in advance, the transfer of knowledge prior to and during the
conference would be heightened.  With a little preparation, we would come ready
to talk through people's projects.

My two cents - no splitting but rather a rethink about how we can achieve better
conference outcomes under a more Internet linked world.



-----Original Message-----
From: owner-coral-list at
[mailto:owner-coral-list at]On Behalf Of Robert van
Sent: Wednesday, 1 November 2000 10:50 AM
To: coral-list at
Subject: Bali/Japan - one wish


<P>Dear Bali participants,

<P>As most of you know, Japan is hosting the next symposium in Okinawa
in 2004.
<BR>I think we all agree that the Bali symposium was a great success, but
no symposium is perfect. While the symposium is still fresh in everyone's
mind, I thought to compile a wish list that may help us for the next symposium
(but only one wish per person). If you feel inclined please send me a
clear and constructive statement on 'something' that was missing at the
Bali symposium and that you would like to see at the next symposium. This
is not a compilation of a complaints list, rather I would appreciate statements
outlining the problem followed by a possible solution. Armed with this
list I can approach the various committees and organizations over the next
few years and make your requests a reality. No promises, but without your
input we can't (attempt to) improve these events.

<P>Best Regards

<P>Rob van Woesik

<BR>Dr. Robert van Woesik
<BR>Associate Professor
<BR>Department of Marine Sciences
<BR>University of the Ryukyus
<BR>Nishihara, Okinawa 903-0123

<P>E-mail: b984138 at
<BR>Website: <A

<P>Ph: (81) 098 895 8564
<BR>Fax: (81) 098 895 8552


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