Adventures in Ethics and Science

This is not an exhaustive account of my experiences at the PSA so far, but rather what’s at the top of my Day-Quil-addled head:

  • I am not the only academic whose tastes run to hand-drawn slides.
  • However, it is possible that I am the youngest academic whose tastes run to hand-drawn slides.
  • Apparently, using Powerpoint marks me as nearly as tremendous a Luddite as using actual overheads. Keynote is where it’s at. (But I may be unwilling to actually invest the time necessary to make the transition, especially seeing as how I like hand-drawn slides.)
  • A “coffee breaks” in the conference schedule for which free coffee is provided will be totally consumed with standing in line for that free coffee.
  • A “coffee break” for which no free coffee is provided is, essentially, a bathroom break.
  • A “coffee break” for which free coffee is provided at a location 16 floors away from where the conference presentations take place can only end in heartbreak.
  • There are an awful lot of men at this conference. Women? Not so much. (Of course, this makes the coffee breaks that are really bathroom breaks more efficient.)
  • If you are sick at a conference, knowing a quick and affordable source of soup within two blocks of the conference site can persuade you that maybe you’ll live.

I also learned some very interesting things about the challenges of keeping clinical trials as unbiased as possible, about which more later.

Now, I’m off to a roundtable/workshop (one of whose participants is Ben Cohen) on electronic scholarship and the history of science, technology, and medicine. I’m guessing one of the central questions will be what exactly counts as electronic scholarship. (Online journals? Databases? Wikis? Blogs?)


  1. #1 Born in the PPT era
    November 7, 2008

    Okay, I’m of the younger generation who is scratching her head wondering what you mean by a hand-drawn slide, having potentially never seen one. Is it a drawing you did on a piece of paper and scanned in? A slide on which you used PowerPoint’s draw tools to draw things? Or are you just referring to using an overhead for a presentation? Are you holding up big sheets of paper you’ve drawn on? Are you using actual SLIDES?

    Weirdly curious…

  2. #2 Noumena
    November 8, 2008

    it is possible that I am the youngest academic whose tastes run to hand-drawn slides.

    Not true. There was a Kant talk today, given by someone who didn’t look a whole lot older than me, with handwritten slides on an overhead projector.

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