In April 2017, I visited Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for the third time to attend the Wiring the Brain conference. It was a small conference – around 150 people. We spent 4 days listening to talks, seeing posters and eating all of our meals together. I made some good friends by happenstance. We created a table of “orphans” at the first meal. We had all come to the meeting alone, rooming with a stranger and assuming we would find people to talk to at the meeting. We certainly did! A small meeting with meals included facilitates making new friends; I highly recommend them to any scientist, especially graduate students.
In addition to real life conversations, I also joined the Twitter conversation for the meeting with the hashtag #cshlwtb. We were not highly active on social media at the conference, but we had fun. I have compiled our activity into a Storify story to convey the real time conversations and connections we made.
I particularly enjoyed using social media as a way to interact with speakers and conference organizers. 150 people may not seem like much, but it’s enough that any individual person will not have much face to face time with a particular organizer. On social media, though, I could talk to everyone asynchronously. I plan to use a similar strategy at the 30,000 attendee Society for Neuroscience meeting in the future.
Questions about my experience or the science we discussed? Use my contact form!