Bali/Japan - Future Plans

Tony Larkum alark at
Mon Nov 6 19:07:04 EST 2000

Dear Robert,

	The problems faced in Bali are not a new phenomenon.  As=20
societies grow they have all come to face similar problems.  The=20
Neurobiology and Cell Biology conferences these days have between=20
5,000 and 10,000 participants - and they still survive.

	However there has to be a radical departure from the previous=20
attitude that prevails in small societies - that everybody has a=20
right to present a paper orally.  Various big societies tackle this=20
in various ways but it is clear that if there are 5,000 to 10,000=20
participants they cannot all present papers (and this is even a=20
problem when there are 1,000 participants as was shown up in Bali).

	In the International Photosynthesis Congress (where I am the=20
Program Organiser for the next Congress in Brisbane, next August) the=20
solution has been to give everybody the right to present a poster and=20
no-one has an absolute right to speak.  the International Committee=20
then sets up a program with Invited Plenary Speakers (same as ICRS)=20
and Chairs and Co-Chairs of Symposia (which are chosen to represent=20
the range of interests).  The Chairs and Co-chairs then invite two=20
eminent speakers in their area.  These four scientists then organise=20
their symposium with additional participants.  In addition various=20
general or topical symposia are set up.  For these latter a Chair and=20
Co-chair are nominated and they organise the symposium on the spot at=20
the Congress by reviewing posters and then organising a discussion=20
session with 2-5 min contributions from the selected poster=20
presenters and comments from the audience.  In addition there are=20
poster sessions when on can meet the poster presenters.

	Up to now 4 page Congress articles have been accepted at the=20
Congress and published in the next few months.  In the next round=20
these will be published on the Web and on CD.

	The Photosynthesis Congresses have run very successfully in=20
this way now for 20 years

	There are other ways of doing it.  Maybe there is a special=20
emphasis on giving young scientists the chance to speak.  But the=20
principle of setting it all around posters is a good one, I believe.=20
In Brisbane next year all posters (>1,000) will be up all week.  This=20
gives everybody a chance to browse over a wide selection of=20
categories, to meet presenters and to voice comments in general and=20
in particular at the convened symposia.

Best of Luck with Okinawa!

Tony Larkum

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