22 June 2016

Evolution 2016, Day 5

Perhaps the highlight of my last day of the Evolution meeting was learning from Paul Durst that you can get fleas off a (dead) mouse by putting the body in a paint can shaker. The next speaker, Matthew Forister, started his talk by saying, “Dead mice in a paint shaker. Tough act to follow.”

Forister also won the “Overly honest methods” award for saying at one point, “Does this have anything to do with the real world? I don’t know.”

Some final impressions of this meeting.

I was surprised by how humourless the talks were. Dead mice in a paint shaker notwithstanding,very few people tried to make a joke. I only saw one Star Wars quote in a talk, even though a social game for students, Evolution bingo, encouraged people to put Star Wars quotes in their talks. I didn’t see any clown noses in the poster sessions, either.

The food and drink was very good. I’ve been at some small meetings that had snacks this good, but not a conference that was this big.

This was probably the smoothest running set of presentations I have ever seen. While I made fun of the chimes, they worked better than conference moderators. People started and stopped on time.

The precision timing of the talks mattered little, however, when you have one talk in room 10-C and the next one in Ballroom C. The distance between them was long enough that it took probably 3 minutes to get from one end of the meeting rooms to the other, so you were invariably missing the starts of talks.

On a related note, sixteen concurrent sessions is too many.

When you see a lot of cool talks using the same sort of organisms, you feel like the stupidest person in the world for not working on them. “Why am I not studying guppies? What is wrong with me?!”

External links

Evolution 2016 bingo card

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