Phil Gallagher wrote:
> JR Bennett, Altruism and the scientific congress, Lancet 1996; 247:377-78
> (10 Feb 96)
> Some of you know of my longstanding interest in the conduct of large
> scientific congresses (such as SUGI and the Joint Statistical Meetings).
> To not bore you with more than one sentence of my prejudices, I am
> dismayed by the increasing costs, which I believe substantially inhibit
> attendance by students, newly qualified graduates, and other
> (impoverished?) academics.
> Is there anyone willing to read the UEGF article and comment on how
> we might begin to offer more alternative opportunities of our own?
> Phil Gallagher
Phil: I'd be happy to review this article and offer feedback. Your comments
are not lost on me; I serve as the (acting) Communications Officer for the
Pacific Northwest Regional SAS Users Group. My conversations with my fellow
PNWSUG colleagues and with other regional SUG and SUGI officers indicates
that conferences _are_ expensive to attend, and many of us need to provide
justification to our employers with respect to attending the conference--in
my case, the justification is made in terms of comparing lost opportunities,
rather than expenses (I'm an economics/management consultant).
My initial response is that ordering a copy of the SUGI Proceedings is one
way of at least catching up on the technical merit of the SUGI conference.
Another is to attend the regional and local users groups meetings and
conferences, and to encourage your local collaegues to do the same. There are
many good people around the country (globe!) who spend much time organizing
these groups, and collaborative achievement is more readily facilitated when
you can strike up relationships with people who live near you. Despite the
magic of e-mail and usenet newsgroups, the best methods to encourage and
achieve collaboration are _still_ interpersonal networks and grass roots
You can reach me at 503-243-2785, ext 207 (voice); 620 S.W. Fifth Avenue,
Suite 810, Portland, Oregon, 97204 (snail mail), 503-224-8232 (fax), and at
e-mail below. I look forward to hearing from you, and putting your comments
and the forementioned paper to good use.
Barakat & Chamberlin, Inc.