Decisions, Decisions

The lack of new postings on this site has been noticed by my friends.  So, now that I’m done with the two grants… I shall pick this up again.. here goes:

I was invited to speak at a meeting… which is exciting.  But- here’s the thing- the meeting is only most peripherally related to my area of interest. It is very unlikely that anyone in my field (even the broader field) will be at this meeting. I have looked at the other sessions, and the poster sessions- and I can see about 1 presentation that might be interesting to me.  So- I thought I would arrive the day before the talk, give the talk the next morning- and be on the plane in the afternoon. That was all cool with me.

Earlier today I was on the meeting site doing the registration… and I saw that the registration fee for this meeting is $700. It wasn’t clear whether or not invited speakers would have their registration fee waived- so I inquired.  Turn out that the registration fee for this meeting is NOT waived for invited speakers- and they do not have a single day registration either. Hmmmm.

So, now I’m thinking to myself – giving a talk at a meeting is always a great thing on the CV… but wait a minute….a.  DrDrA you do not yet have a grant, b.  $700 could buy a lot of TAQ polymerase, c. $700 is one heck of a lot of to pay to give a 15 minute talk (and you know its going to be more like $1200 before everything is said and done) …. I suppose that depends who is in the audience though…

Anyway- I had my mind firmly made up not to go.  Then, I told DrMrA- and his answer has thrown me into doubt about the wisdom of my decision not to go. He said- hey- this meeting may be attended to persons who have access to funding via non-traditional NIH,NSF type mechanisms… why would you want to close yourself off from a potential opportunity to access these funding mechanisms by not attending this meeting?!

I obviously don’t want to close myself off from any funding mechanisms right now- and I know weird coincidences happen all the time- but honestly and truly- if I fly in there and give a $700, 15 minute talk- and don’t rub elbows with anyone because this is SO outside my area of interest- what are the chances of me chatting with the right non-traditional funding mechanisms people anyway??? And shoot- it is not like I’ve got a shortage of things to do here- (2 more manuscripts and a review article to write…)…

So, call me irrational, I’m not going.


10 thoughts on “Decisions, Decisions

  1. This sounds to me like a total fucking scam. They “invite” you to speak, and then charge $700 bucks for a meeting registration!? Unless that includes room and board, it is insanely high. Society for Neuroscience is only $230 for full early registration by faculty.

  2. I had one of these happen to me actually. Invitation and then nailed for the $700ish fee. I got the guy inviting me to pay for it 🙂

    I guess the smaller societies figure if they invite big-time people they can easily afford it and small time people will figure it is worth the investment for the alleged exposure and CV line item under “Invited Talks”?

  3. I think you’re making the right choice. I wouldn’t go. $700 is too high. Even our really exotic location meetings (like our big Cayman pain meeting) don’t cost that much (even when they include several meals).

  4. I presented a couple of posters at the World Congress for Obscure Clinical Research in the land far, far away while still a grad student and the student registration fee was ~$700. Luckily, my PhD advisor was very keen for me to present and had access to a research slush fund (which has turned to dust) so he paid for the whole thing. Outrageous prices. I’d be expecting a palatial hotel suite, 4-star meals, a maid service, a (very hot) on-call masseuse as well as the meeting for that kind of money.

  5. Your time is valuable too. If little to nothing at the meeting interests you, and there is no secondary reason for going, why go?

  6. There is now a proliferation of meetings that seeem desiged to make money for the organisers. I agree that his is a low level scam. I might hink differently if my name was included on the web-site of the conference program ot that there were other people of interest in my session.

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