I think I’m cursed. Or I have bad luck. Or conference organizers think I’m a morning person. Alright, so maybe I really am a morning person. But that’s besides the point. Because it sucks to give a talk on a Saturday morning. Saturday mornings should be reserved for things like Belgian waffles, homemade hash browns, made to order omelets, and mimosas. Not for 12 minute talks about my research. How much can you fit into a 12 minute talk? Not much. And you end up speeding up at the end when you realize you’ve got about 1 minute to make it through four slides. It’s either that or go over 12 minutes, cutting into the three minutes allocated for questions at the end of your talk. I’m not even going to get into the ordeal that are questions at the end of 12 minute talks.
I gave one of those 12 minute talks at the Fly Meeting a week-or-so ago. All signs indicate that it went well. We’ll see how the manuscript is treated in review. The biggest problem was that the talk was at 9:15 on a Saturday morning. Not only did I have to deal with all the regular issues that come with a 12 minute talk a big conference (yes, the Fly Meeting is a pretty big conference, with over 1000 participants), but I had to speak to a room full of tired and hung-over scientists. I think half of the evolutionary geneticists had spent the night before partying. The only thing worse is giving a talk on Sunday morning, the morning after everyone spent the night before hanging out in a tree drinking beer (or so I’ve heard). Thankfully, they only give invited speakers the Sunday morning talks at the Fly Meeting, so insecure grad students don’t have to deal with half-empty rooms and a disinterested audience.
Okay, I’m probably making too big of a deal out of giving a talk on a Saturday morning at one meeting. But I haven’t told you when I’m scheduled to speak at the next meeting I’m going to. That said, I bet you can guess. No, it’s not 9:15 on a Saturday morning. It’s 9:30, which I guess is a slight improvement over 9:15. The talk will be given at the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution conference (SMBE 2008) in Barcelona. Being in Barcelona should make up for the fact that I need to give a talk on a Saturday morning.
Last year, we had a blogger meet-up at SMBE in Halifax (picture here). I’ve set up another Nature Network Group, SMBE 2008, where we can coordinate a meet-up of bloggerly folks. Basically, if you’re reading this post, you’re invited. If you have a blog, even better. Logsdon, I’m looking at you.