[Coral-List] Reflections on ICRS 11

Phil Dustan dustanp at cofc.edu
Fri Aug 1 22:07:27 EDT 2008

Dear Colleagues,

I’m sure you’ll all join in thanking all the people that worked so hard 
to make the ICRS 11 a success.  It was a wonderful opportunity to meet, 
hear, discuss, and share ideas with new and old colleagues alike; well 
worth the expense and time of traveling to Fort Lauderdale.  I think we 
can all agree that the meeting was HUGE and it took superhuman efforts 
to make it work as smoothly as it did.  Congrats to Dick Dodge and the ICRS.

That said, I’d like to offer the following observations and thoughts in 
an effort to improve ICRS 12:

1. Too many of the talks I attended went over their allotted time, 
leaving no time for discussion.

2. Too many of the talks I attended were full of information that had 
already been published.  An extreme example of this was a very senior 
researcher who must have shown at least 30 slides, each with a bold 
citation across the bottom.  His talk also ran over by a wide margin. 
Who gave him the license to waste my time?

3.  Too many presentation slides offered far too much information to absorb.

4. Too many presentations had not bothered to check the pre-internet era 
literature, or even basic reference texts such as the Treatise on 
Invertebrate Paleontology.  The older literature is still full of good 

5. It has always been my idea that meetings are occasions to share new 
information, not overwhelm the audience, impress the funding agencies, 
badger us with old facts, reinvented wheels, or pronounce your own 
revision of history.  Save this kind of stuff for gossip during breaks, 
dinner, or drinks.

As we begin planning for the next symposium, now less than 4 years away, 
perhaps the next organizing committee could consider some changes such as:

Perhaps each talk could be limited to no more than 10 slides with 7 
minutes for presentation time and 8-10 minutes for questions.

Additionally, and I think extremely important, presentations should show 
only new, unpublished research, not stuff that’s already in the literature.

Phillip Dustan
Department of Biology
College of Charleston
Charleston SC 29424
(843) 953-8086
(843) 953-5453

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