So, this is progress?

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When you write an academic paper you anticipate that few people, with the possible exception of your Mother, will read your tremendous scholarship. Now technology is making the situation even worse.

I’m in Bratislava speaking at EuroLogo 2007 and while the abstracts for each session are published in convenient book form, the actual papers are on a CD in the back of the proceedings.

This means that even fewer people will read the conference papers and fewer yet will have read them before the presentation. This leads some speakers to commit the sin of reading their paper aloud to an increasingly sleepy audience.

Comments

One Response to “So, this is progress?”
  1. Downes says:

    What they should have done would have been to post the papers on the internet prior to the conference, sending the URL to all registered attendees by email.

    People could read the papers at leisure in the comfort of their own home or office (or download them and read them on the flight).

    Then the presenters would be instructed to give only a short summary, the balance of the session being free for discussion.

    Discussion is, after all, why you’re flying to Bratislava in the first place.

    Certainly, it wouldn’t make sense to travel all the way to Slovakia simply to pick up a paper copy of a presentation. That, certainly, would be foolish.