The side-effects of attending a Scientific Congress

The side-effects of attending a Scientific Congress

Chrisoula D. Scopa, Anna Batistatou


International Scientific Congresses are always very interesting to attend, as they not only increase ones’ relevant scientific knowledge, but also expand the horizons of thinking - by exposing devoted delegates to novel pathways of approaching a scientific question and conducting research, and introducing new ways of presenting data. We are now senior Pathologists and are listing attendance in more than 100 Congresses in our Curriculum Vitae, however we still remember that first time we attended a Scientific Congress, or the early days of presenting with the hand-crafted rectangular slides, prepared days in advance, transported in bulky round slide-projector cases (disastrous falls with messing in the order, or upside-down slides were a frequent event then). Now, in the era of PowerPoint presentations, such narrations sound old-fashioned, but the value of attending a Scientific Congress still remains. Thus, via our positions as Heads of our Departments of Pathology in two major Medical Schools in Greece, we have often encouraged and facilitated young Medical Students and Pathology Residents to attend Scientific Congresses. Upon return, they are asked to present the highlights of the Congress during the Lab meeting. This is always an interesting session to attend, not only for the obvious scientific benefits, but also as an opportunity to discuss the optimal ways of presenting, mostly based on “what to avoid” advice. Herein, we have combined all we have known about presentations that can go bad for the audience, irrelevant to their scientific value, exemplified in a single case report.

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Dancing pointers, preachers, sweating slides and other distractions during talks. "By Caveman" J Cell Sci 2001;114(1):1-2


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