It has been a while since I gave a poster at a conference. I've been to a lot of meetings recently, but was lucky enough to be chosen to give talks. I always jumped at the talks, as I was either on the job market or just starting my own lab and was happy for the publicity. But, to be honest, I kind of miss poster sessions. The amount and type of interactions you have with folks at a poster is much more intense than in questions after a talk. Of course, you are more likely to have someone hunt you down at the bar to grill you about your talk.
In any event, I am going to be giving a poster at the next conference I go to. On the event of this special occasion I am considering having my poster printed on fabric instead of the normal glossy print. That way I can just pack it up with the rest of my stuff and don't have to worry about leaving my poster tube on the plane. Again. Ahem.
Tonight, I asked folks on twitter what they thought of the fabric posters. Especially those that just got back from SfN. Several folks (Nam, Dr. Becca, GR) were encouraging. The poster ninja, Dr. Zen, pointed me to a post he wrote about the fabric posters. But others (@benchwise) were convinced that posters should be shiny to make a good impression.
What say you, beloved blog readers? Can a fabric poster rock your world-or is high gloss a must? If you have seen fabric posters that you liked (or didn't) was there a specific reason*?
Is the tradeoff of more convenient transport worth losing the high-gloss print?
* I'm a little concerned about how images look when printed on the fabric.
I was recently invited to be a "table leader" at a big conference mentoring/career luncheon. I had been
volunteered nominated by a colleague because I have just set up a lab, and one of the topics is "setting up your first lab". Today I was finally filling out the RSVP form, in which you are asked to select all appropriate tables that you could lead. One is "gay and lesbian issues in science". Now, of course this one is relevant to me. And I'm glad to see that the big conference is working in this area.
Here's the weird thing: I am hesitating to check that box. I don't know why, but I'm definitely feeling a little anxiety about volunteering for this one. Now, I'm fully out. Not just here, but IRL. So, why am I scared? I don't know. Maybe part of it is that I would be coming out on such a large scale. My name will be in a program book, and this will be a thing that becomes "searchable" in my professional world. In the future, grant reviewers and the like will run across it if they google me. It is always a little bit of a nervous charge when I come out to a new person. And this would be that x 10^4.
I think I am, deep-down, a little worried this will come back to haunt me. Also, what am I going to say? I don't really know if I have any good advice for other non-heterosexual folks out there that are in this business. In fact, it would be useful for me to talk to someone about this that is a few years ahead of me on the tenure-track. So maybe if I was just there, as an example that some of us queer folk are making it, that would be useful?
This is getting a little rambly (is that a word?). So I'll stop and ask for input. If I'm "out" for penny, should I just bite the bullet and be "out" for a pound*? Do you think I should check the box, or keep my "coming out" on a more person-to-person level? And if I bail, is that dishonest of me?
*ouch. that is rambly and mixing up the metaphors. sorry.
One thing that I have been thinking about a lot recently is how to attract good postdocs to my fledgling lab. This has only been intensified by the near-unanimous advice I have been getting both here and IRL that I need to focus on writing more grants and let the lab peeps collect the data. This raises the question: how do you recruit a good postdoc??
When I was looking for a postdoc, I wrote letters to people that I wanted to work for. They invited me for an interview, then offered me the job. I picked the one that I thought was the best fit and accepted the offer. Done! But, as a new lab I don't know if it works the same way. I feel like I should be more proactive, but I don't really know how. I usually have a couple people contact me after I give a talk, and I have put up some adverts on my website and subfield forums. But so far, there has been no one that I have been willing to recruit. There is one person that I have been in contact with that might come out for an interview, but they are almost a year away from defending.
I'm left sitting here wishing that a good (not even great) postdoc will call me up out of the blue. Surely there is a better way?
>I don't know if anyone is listening here, but I have a question. How does one go about hiring a lab manager? I have the money and I'd REALLY like to have someone who already knew the ropes step in to be a role where they take care of most lab business (ordering, taking care of rotation students, etc). I have the $ and I don't have a problem with delegating. The problem I'm having is WHERE DO YOU FIND THESE PEOPLE? I'm in a large PacNW city with big biotech, but the only folks that are applying for jobs in my lab as "techs" are kids fresh from college. Is there some secret words that you put in an ad so the real SuperTechs know that you are looking for them? How can I convince someone like this to work with me??