Sydney is behind us and many will have breathed a big sigh of relief. Well done to the Sydney team for an excellent meeting. Perth 2005 suddenly seems to have leapt forward and already I am developing the feeling, so much to do, so little time to do it in. Oh well, we all need challenges!
I really enjoyed meeting with people and chewing the fat even if I did end up staying up way past my bedtime more often than was good for me. There is so little time at the meetings these days to establish and develop networks. Being available to people is, to me at least, a very important aspect of attending our ASM and it is a pity that the only time available was after the dinner in an environment where we had to shout to be heard. At least my voice lasted a little longer than did Dave Schembri's when he visited Perth - just!
Of course, talking to people means that I have a long list of promises made and I am trying to ensure that all are kept. Following through on things is critical to the success of the meeting. We all need to ensure that:
- the good ideas we generated are developed into practical action
- that feedback on our presentation(s) is taken aboard and our work developed with a view to publishing it
- interactions with other laboratories are developed and nurtured
- offers of help are delivered upon in a timely fashion.
Attendance at an ASM does not make us good scientists. It does, however, provide us with the nourishment we need to become good scientists during the rest of the year. Without the follow-through, however, the ASM becomes a waste of time professionally. This of course doesn't mean is not valuable socially!
I am amazed how far our meetings have come since the early meetings I attended - Holiday Inn at Camperdown was my first Sydney meeting if I remember rightly; also one at Manly. Each year we seem to take a step up the ladder. This progress can only occur if the membership let the Executive know what they liked and didn't like, what worked and what didn't work. Once again, feedback is the crucial element that allows us to grow. Please take the time to share your thoughts on the Sydney ASM with the Executive and with the Perth LOC.
Once again thank you to all who had the courage to stand up and present their work, to express their viewpoints and contribute to the dynamism that was evident at Sydney. To those who were too reticent, learn from your peers and I look forward to your contributions at the Perth ASM.
Till next time,