Field of Science

Botanical Meeting - Early Planning

The annual botanical meetings are at the end of this month in New Orleans, the combined memberships of the Botanical Society of America, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, the American Bryological and Lichenological Society, the American Fern Society, and the International Association of Plant Taxonomists.  Pretty exciting, huh?  Well, this is for purposes of communicating all manner of things with out colleagues, and mostly it's the only time each year we get to see colleagues from different institutions and countries, former students, and collaborators, both past and maybe future.  People present talks and posters highlighting their research and teaching.  You learn a lot and get a lot of new ideas.  But it's a marathon, a jam-packed few days of solid botanical science.  Participation planning had to take place months ago to get on the program, and even earlier than that if you were organizing some aspect of the meeting.  Travel planning also had to be done already to get reservations taken care of.  Now you begin to decide on a day-to-day schedule so you're where you want to be when you want to be there.  You see, so much is going on, all manner of sessions are going on simultaneously, and for us generalists who have interests spanning more than one field, it's a particular problem because you want to hear this and that over there and back here.  TPP's basic approach is to just check off anything and everything he's interested in seeing and hearing, all the meetings he's supposed to attend, and all the rest.  This spans fields of systematics, paleobotany, structure and development, ecology, pollination, tropical biology, and evolution, but only particular bits of each.  More specialized people just plunk themselves down and stay put.  After you find everything of interest (it took 2 hours to read the whole program) you print out a custom schedule, except then you find out 8 of your "likes" all happen at once, so then you finally have to decide.  The first scan shows quite a few "problems" to resolve.  Some fun things look to be in the offing.  One symposium, a group of invited speakers, are presenting talks on "Yes, Bobby [Jindal], Evolution is Real".  Doubt he'll show up. And where was the seminar on Cajun food?  

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