24 November 2022

Link roundup for November 2022

This month’s contestant for the coolest poster ever:

That’s a legitimate contender for the title. Every icon making up the wolf is something wolves have eaten.

From Voyageurs Wolf Project, at The Wildlife Society conference, spotted by Roland Kays. (Roland’s tweet puts the year at 2012, not 2022). More pictures by Trish Brockman.

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I have been reliably informed that some time ago, someone knit their conference poster.

And it won a prize.

And I am deeply disappointed that nobody told me this before now! And that I don’t have any pictures to share.

It’s an indictment of our collective amnesia about posters that even something so outside the box is not well known in the academic community. That was an epic achievement that should be shared!

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I generally recommend sans serif type for posters, but am always keeping an eye open for research on typeface performance. A new paper by Vecino and colleagues finds no differences in reading speed or user preference between a sans serif typeface (Roboto)...

Roboto text sample reading, "Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow!"

and a serif typeface (Roboto Serif).

Roboto Serif text sample reading, "Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow!"

There are always many qualifiers with studies like this. For instance, despite what the title says, the researchers did not test “serif versus sans serif” generally. They tested one particular pair of typefaces.

Another important consideration is that the viewing conditions for a website, and presumably one that was mainly viewed on phones, are very different than those for a poster!

Vecino S, Mehtali J, de Andrés J, Gonzalez-Rodriguez M, Fernandez-Lanvin D. 2022. How does serif vs sans serif typeface impact the usability of e-commerce websites? PeerJ Computer Science 8: e1139. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj-cs.1139

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It seems most conferences in 2022 in North America having decided not to require mask mandates, it’s important to ask what the air quality on poster session floor is. Friend of the blog Dr. Becca tweeted that the carbon dioxide level on the floor was almost 1,000 parts per million (ppm).

Carbon dioxide meter reading 997 on Society for Neuroscience poster session floor.

This inspired me to search Twitter for other similar posts, and found one from Rommie Amaro reporting a Gordon Conference poster session with very high carbon dioxide levels.

Little did I know that LI-COR has been in the habit of tracking carbon dioxide concentrations at poster sessions because they have the tech sitting right in their booth!

Searching their Twitter archive for “poster” and “carbon or co2” is fascinating. The lowest recorded carbon dioxide level was 615 ppm, and their highest was 1,300 ppm. It looks like somewhere between 800 and 1,000 is the average.

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A short paper about creating on online poster sessions. The solution, according to this? Short videos.

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And that’s it for this month! Thanks for dropping by!

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