future ICRS ideas

marcos marcos at gektidis.de
Fri Nov 10 05:11:47 EST 2000

Dear all,
reading about reorganisation of the ICRS meeting the following idea struck me:

Here we are, coral reef scientists, trying to improve organization of a
continuously growing structure - the ICRS meeting. Well, maybe we can learn
from our subjects of research? How is a coral colony organized? How is
information distributed among the polyps? Do we need better information
transfer between the "tentacles"? This would imply something like "real time"
summaries of the sessions. These would then be distributed the next day as
hand-outs or - more modern - an installation of a meeting-server, where
information is updated from day to day. Or do we need a gastral chamber, were
nutrition is digested and distributed? Something like a large session hall as
Erich suggested? Are there other inventions that enable corals to organsize
such a perfect large and continously growing "conference"? Or maybe the "coral
concept" is not applicable because we are all individuals and not identical
structures like coral polyps?
I do not have a concept for the next meeting. I guess I just noticed the close
correlation between our field of research and the existing problem of
organization. So maybe somebody more proficient in organizing large meetings
can pick up the idea and use it.
Cheers, Marcos

Dr. Marcos Gektidis
Geologisch Palaeontologisches Institut
J.W. Goethe Universitaet
Senckenberanlage 32-34
60054 Frankfurt am Main

Erich Mueller wrote:

> To all:
> Although some of you may be tiring of the discussion regarding the future
> direction of the ICRS, I think this discussion is essential to help guide
> the format of future meetings. In past "lives",  I have attended much
> larger meetings in several other scientific areas - biomedical, chemical
> and engineering. None of these large meetings adopted an innovative
> format - they merely ran many concurrent sessions. But I think that coral
> reef scientists are generally different from attendees in those meetings
> in that we have very diverse interests under the umbrella of "reef
> science". Indeed we must in order to understand these complex systems. So
> the old format works for some areas of science because research directions
> are often highly focused and only a few sessions are of interest to a
> given scientist (this is, of course, a generalization with many
> exceptions).
> Many good ideas have been circulated and there are more to come. Here are
> my thoughts:
> 1) Because we all have something to learn from each other, I think we need
>    a meeting format that maximizes synthesis, demonstrating consensus
>    where present  and vigorous discussion of controversial and emerging
>    issues.With this in mind, here are some format ideas (similar to some
>    already suggested but I lost the relevant email references in my over
>    zealous expunging of the inbox!).
>    a) Invited plenaries in perhaps 12-20 key sub-fields (i.e. geologic
>       processes, reef fish ecology, coral physiology, etc., etc.) with
>       specific instructions to the speakers to discuss areas of consensus
>       and controversy. 45 minute talk with at least 45 minutes for
>       discussion. There must be multiple microphones and judicious
>       oversight by a moderator to maximize audience participation.
>       Students and others that may not wish to comment will have the
>       opportunity to hear diverse opinions. Suggest two sessions in AM and
>       2-3 in the afternoon. Such a format requires a large hall but
>       reduces the need for many medium-sized rooms in addition, perhaps
>       reducing conference cost.
>    b) Another way that consensus and controversy can be presented would
>       be via panel discussions with audience participation. Similar
>       topical and time format as above.
>    c) Poster presentations would be essential unlimited so that anyone may
>       present their results. A large room would be required and two
>       sessions would likely be necessary (but posters should be up at
>       least 2 days).
> 2) In addition to the plenaries and (perhaps) transcripts of the ensuing
>    discussions, all poster authors would be invited to submit a
>    manuscript. I do not agree that all should be published but limitation
>    should be based on peer-review and not financial or arbitrary page
>    considerations.
> 3) The idea of electronic publishing is excellent for the many reasons
>    that others have cited. The final abstracts and manuscripts should be
>    distributed via CD but searchable Web publishing of abstracts would be
>    particularly valuable prior to the meeting.
> 4) Finally, I would like to encourage participation in regional meetings.
>    Hopefully, these can be kept manageable in size and give more authors,
>    particularly students,  opportunities for oral presentations.
> <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
> Erich Mueller, Ph.D., Director      Phone: (305) 745-2729
> Mote Marine Laboratory              FAX:   (305) 745-2730
> Center for Tropical Research        Email: emueller at mote.org
> 24244 Overseas Highway (US 1)
> Summerland Key, FL   33042
> Center Website-> http://www.mote.org/~emueller/CTRHome.phtml
> Mote Marine Laboratory Website-> http://www.mote.org
> Remarks are personal opinion and do not reflect institutional
> policy unless so indicated.
> <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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