Having always worked in an interdisciplinary field, even taking courses from various departments, I have perpetually felt I do not fit into a certain category. With my computer science friends I do not seem to belong, as I do biology, and among the science ones, I am the computer science geek.
However, here at my first BPS meeting, I was at ease, attending talks and symposiums one after the other variedly different from each other. I realize it is indeed only a matter of doing good science, and adding to the knowledge of the working of things around us. I was glad to see the optimism and so many motivated individuals around me.
This was very appropriately summed up when I heard on the Biophysical Society TV outside Great Hall A while charging my phone, ‘Biophysics, by its nature is interdisciplinary’.
Last evening when I was leaving from my lab, saying goodbye to everyone as I would be away at the BPS 17 Meeting most of next week, I asked around for advice from everyone. Well, considering it was my first conference in graduate school, I thought it might be wise to do so. Sitting in the flight, I thought I might as well jot down the sense that has been passed on to me from my colleagues.
Mostly, not unsurprisingly, it consisted of, eat a lot of free food (what, there will be free food?!), have fun, enjoy, bring something for all of us and you know, the likes. Of course the more serious suggestions came from my advisor :
- Attend good talks
- Don’t run around from room to room, choose a session, even if you think you may not enjoy ALL the talks, it is better to sit through them than rushing around. (Well, lets see how much running around I anyway will be able to do in my heels!)
- Connect with speakers if you enjoy their talk and ask questions if you have have them
- Roam around; New Orleans is a nice city and you may not have a chance to visit it again
Not only advice, he tried to recollect memories from his first scientific conference where he gave a talk, and his stories are always interesting to listen to. You see, it is hard to imagine your advisor was once a graduate student too! I will try to take his (and my friends’) advice in stride, hopefully won’t be too nervous for my own talk and expect that by the end of this Biophysical Society Meeting, I will be more enlightened and will return with full vigour to the demands of the current semester of graduate school. Now, I must go back to the book I packed to read on this flight.
Hoping to meet many of you in the upcoming days 🙂