Ever wonder what happens at a scientific meeting? They’re a great place for scientists to get new ideas and collaborate with their colleagues on important advancements in scientific research and discovery. But it’s not all work. These meetings also give researchers the chance to catch up with friends and former co-workers and to socialize with new colleagues.
I Spy Physiology volunteer blog editor Audrey Vasauskas was among the more than 11,000 attendees at the APS annual meeting at Experimental Biology (EB) in April. She photoblogged her experience during her time in San Diego. Check out what the meeting looked like to her.
“I submitted two abstracts to the meeting this year, one on my bench research in pulmonary arterial hypertension and one on an outreach educational program for high school students that I co-directed. I was very excited that the EB organizers added a separate section for science outreach so that I could share what we are doing within our community. It took place during the opening reception, which brought in many people to view the posters and chat. It was nice to have so many people come by to share ideas and suggestions on my research, for both the pulmonary hypertension and the outreach projects. I’ve gotten some of the best suggestions for future work through speaking with poster attendees! I have also been able to set up some great collaborations.”
“The EB meeting is an excellent opportunity to meet people interested in the same field of research and make important connections for collaborations and idea sharing. For example, I was able to connect with a faculty member also studying pulmonary hypertension for insight and a possible collaboration. It is also a great time to catch up with colleagues who I don’t normally get the luxury to speak with in-person! I spent time with my former postdoctoral mentor. It was great to see her and hear about her graduate students’ research during the Respiration Section Trainee Highlights Breakfast.”
“EB is so much fun! I love learning about areas outside of my research as well as getting up-to-date in my field. However, my favorite part is connecting with old friends who come together for this special event. Whether at formal section dinners or impromptu meetings, it’s the people who make EB great! I loved the APS Connect Zone, where we could relax, play games and talk. Lunches on-site and nearby were also fantastic. Of course, going to a meeting far from home also calls for exploration. Getting out in San Diego was a blast! My friends and I rode the water taxi to Coronado Island to see the Pacific Ocean and walk around. It was a great afternoon.”
“Yummmmmm … so much food, so little time.”
Wrapping Up and Looking Forward
“I look forward to attending the EB meeting every year, and it never disappoints! I am able to present my research, meet new people and see old friends. The meeting stimulates new scientific ideas and collaborations in a fun, collegial way. Every year after the EB meeting, I feel renewed in my love for science and exploration and grateful to have had an opportunity to travel, explore and contribute to the scientific community through my participation!”
Audrey A. Vasauskas, PhD, is an associate professor of physiology at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is a former volunteer editor for the I Spy Physiology blog.