Ben Kerr on the Gordon Research Seminar on Microbial Populations

8 Jan

Ben Kerr, a professor at the University of Washington was one of only two faculty at the Gordon Research Seminar on Microbial Population Biology in the summer of 2013 (everyone else was grad student or postdoc). I asked him how he experienced the meeting.

I have written about the Gordon Research Seminar and Conference previously here (link). If you are interested in microbial populations, and if you would like to meet others who are interested in microbial populations too, please consider signing up. If you are unsure whether you’d be a good fit for the meeting, feel free to send me an email (pennings at sfsu dot edu).

Ben Kerr’s opinion: one of the most dynamic meetings I’ve attended!

Ben Kerr

Ben Kerr

“The 2013 Gordon Research Seminar was really quite a wonderful meeting.  As one of a few faculty members attending, I noticed some very positive deviations from a traditional small meeting (i.e., one featuring faculty).

First, here was a chance to hear presentations of the highest quality by the graduate students and postdocs actually doing the research.  This gave the session a tangible authenticity, featuring a unique perspective from those on the front line of research.

Second, the atmosphere of this meeting was extremely welcoming and supportive.  Constructive conversations about research, scientific communication, and professional development occurred both formally and informally throughout.  More than many other meetings, the GRS gave a wider audience a voice (regardless of age, gender and background, which was truly refreshing).

Third, the meeting allowed attendees to connect with others whose research complemented their own.  Several members of my lab (including me!) made important contacts during the GRS, which have led to productive collaborations.

Finally, the meeting was just plain fun!  Attendees seemed genuinely galvanized about their own work and ready to dive into conversation about the work of others.  For me, it is these dynamic interactions that make the social dimension of science so enjoyable— and the GRS was one of the most dynamic meetings I’ve attended.”

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