Friday, February 10, 2017

Scientific Conferences - Just go!

I just returned from the Photonics West conference in San Francisco, CA and was treated to hundreds of seminars on biomedical methods, advanced imaging, photonics and the latest in optics. It was definitely mind-blowing and exciting at the same time. 

My challenge now is to figure out how to concentrate everything I learned (during talks, posters, new technology, and equipment) offered by the myriad of presenters and exhibitors into usable information for interested researchers at my home institution (academic medical center). Naturally, I have all the product handouts from the various vendors to pass on, but I also want to communicate the energy and enthusiasm of the conference. The sense of excitement at progress being made in many disciplines was infectious and comes at a time when there is lots of uncertainty about the future of research in this country.

To me, conferences are super important to keep up with current advances and equipment, as well as to tag up with colleagues old and new. They remind me of the reasons why I became a scientist and help relegate nagging administrative tasks back home to a mental back burner for a time.

Every time I attend a new conference, I wonder what took me so long to register. Next time, I won't wait. I'll go and enjoy. You should too. Go science!