Conference Lectures - a modest proposal

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Posted by Jerry Silverman on January 11, 1999 at 23:04:51:

Many of those who have posted on this subject have remarked on the low regard in which they hold the lectures at conferences. Let me offer a suggestion.

1) Fewer lectures. It is time to recognize that high quality research in oriental carpets is a discipline practiced by only a few individuals. If the presentations are to be truly “Academic,” then their content should be rigorously vetted with only the most worthy offered.
2) Longer lectures. Limiting each presentation to 20 minutes robs the speaker of the opportunity to fully explicate his/her findings. It also robs the audience of the full value of the speaker’s insights. Presentations should be at least 40-60 minutes in length. Or perhaps a single academic session could contain two presentations followed by an hour-long round-table discussion by other experts in the field.
3) Written texts. Each lecturer should have the text of his/her presentation available in all the languages of the conference for audience members as they enter the session. This would help eliminate the translation/misunderstanding problems which arise when a presentation is given in the lecturer's second language.



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