26 July 2018

Link roundup for July, 2018

Paul Frankland compares the electronic poster session to the traditional paper poster session at the 11th Federation Of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Forum of Neuroscience. Here are electronic posters:

And here are the paper posters:

I think this may be a “attendance vortex.” If the number of e-posters is small, there will be few people browsing no matter how good the posters are. People will go where there are people, which reinforces the poor attendance.

Electronic posters were courtesy Morressier, according to Gemma.

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You are going to have to click through to see the video of this poster from the lab of Prosanta Chakrabarty. It... spins. Like Wheel of Fortune spins. This serves no communicative purpose. But it is fun.

Hat tip to Tidepool Ann.

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The littlest poster presenter, at the International Congress for Neuroethology.

Courtesy of Dr. Paloma.
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Dr. Petra has a Twitter thread about taking pictures at conferences. While it’s mostly about photographing oral presentations, much of it applies to poster presenters, too. (Lightly edited.)

As it's conference season I'm seeing loads of pics of people presenting. Some are really great, but often the photos are shocking - blurring, bad angles, massively unflattering pics of presenters and slides you can't make out (but are encouraged to read). So here are some tips about photographing and sharing conferences/presentations/events. ...

  1. If you’re going to take pics, ask if people are okay with this. They may be, but they may not (and it’s not your business to question this).
  2. Even if they are okay with being photographed, check they’re also okay with that being shared on social media. And if their slides or any aspect of their presentation identifies others (patients or participants, etc), either don’t photograph or don’t show this aspect.
  3. Remember not to interrupt or otherwise get in the way of someone’s talk because you want to film or photograph it. Audience members may struggle to follow if you’re in the way.
  4. Really liked a speaker or slide? Want to promote yourself or a friend? If time allows, ask them to pose by said slide(s) at close of talk. Chairs? Allow time for this during questions. This also means you can take a few snaps to ensure the photo is good quality.
  5. If you’ve taken a pic of someone presenting, look at it and imagine it was of you and was about to be shared across social media. If you wouldn't be happy with a grotty image of yourself going out, don’t do it to someone else.
  6. So yes, appearance shouldn’t matter, but unfortunately in may ways it does. Which means if you're okay to be photographed, it might be worth checking you’re happy with how you look from all angles. (Trust me. I’ve learned the hard way on this.)
  7. This also applies to your slides, posters, etc. They’re not just there to appeal or be accessible to your immediate audience. If you’re okay with being filmed or photographed, they also need to translate to folk who're not present. (You can do this, by the way! It’s just a shift in focus)
  8. Again, if you're photographing people's work and you want others to see it (and you’re sure that's okay), then take a few snaps so you can pick the most clear, accessible, or understandable one (and annotate or explain if context is needed).
  9. If, after you’ve shared an image the presenter asks you to remove it, do them a solid and take it down. They may have very good reasons (including personal safety or safeguarding participants) for this to happen.
  10. Also, don’t be a conference creep. Seen other delegates at dinner, the conference disco or some other venue? Don’t sneakily snap and share. Certainly don’t snap, share and shame.

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Posters will be getting their own museum next year: Poster House. But it already has some cool online stories, including this one about how the Woodstock was made.

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Nominee for best poster title: “wtf causes aneuploidy”. (Pretty sure wtf is a gene or protein.) Hat tip to Ethan Perlstein.

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Rock on Doctor Freeride:

If you're a senior(ish) academic who wishes there was more space for new voices at your professional conferences, consider submitting your own research to the poster session rather than as a talk.

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I blundered across this stirring defense of typography on Project Gutenberg:

(Typography) is Noble... because it is the nurse and preserver of all other arts and sciences; and is unquestionably the most important as well as the most beneficial invention the world has ever seen. It is the disseminator of every other discovery; the commemorator of all other inventions: it hands down to posterity every important event; immortalizes the actions of the great and good; and requires, moreover, in all who would thoroughly excel in its practice, the highest attainable combination of mental alacrity, educated intelligence, and expert manual dexterity.

I almost wanted to applaud when I read this. By William Skeen in 1872.

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