It was a cold spring in Cold Spring Harbor…

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A number of thoughts came to my mind while I was sitting through a (fantastic) 4 day meeting in Cold Spring Harbor:

1) People (incredibly) don’t practice their talks… Which to me is the only explanation for not fitting into the assigned presentation time. I honestly don’t understand what’s so appealing about having to awkwardly flip through the last 5 slides when the timer already went off twice and the chair of the session is already breathing on your neck standing. Didn’t you guys know how much time you had? Ignite conferences have a great solution for keeping on schedule: each speaker gives a 5 minutes talk using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. Isn’t that genius? 🙂

2) Why would somebody put their name and the name/date of the meeting on every single slide?

3) When will it be possible to put the slide number count-down in PowerPoint? Nobody really cares how many slides you showed since you started, but many people would care how many more are left. I think I’m not the only person who will pay for such a thing.

4) I think 3 slides in a row named “Results” constitute a bad idea.

5) People shouldn’t be allowed to change the topic of their talk after the abstract acceptance.. It’s just not cool. What’s the whole point of abstract submission then?

6) During a presentation, the number of open laptops in the audience is inversely proportional to the genius of the presenter. The number of open laptops reached a record low of 1 during the keynote speech by James Collins (synthetic biology, Boston University). I hope, that 1 person was taking notes.

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