Scientific meetings and session-free afternoons

Purpose of scientific meetings is to promote informal discussions on frontier science. We need to meet and communicate with each other to develop trust that is so essential for the science to grow. Preferable place for holding these meetings is where there is minimal distractions. ‘Large’ meetings are often big distractions. Picturesque places do not necessarily distract but can be distractive. Austere facility for holding the meets is really what one needs to encourage.

“Session-free afternoons” are important component of the scientific meetings; it is where many lifelong friendships and collaborations begin. Meetings should encourage meeting of different kinds of minds, not necessarily meeting of too similar minds. “In fact, the most stimulating scientific meetings that I have attended have taken the extreme opposite approach, intentionally mixing scientists with very different backgrounds and interests, convening them to produce a set of new ideas for attacking a challenging scientific puzzle”, writes Bruce Alberts.