Athena Swan

Athena Swan promotes and supports the careers of women in Science, Engineering and Technology (STEM), and aims to address gender inequalities and imbalance in these disciplines and, in particular, the under-representation of women in senior roles.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Naturejobs Feature - Networking: Hello, stranger

Excellent advice for all conference attendees from the Nature Jobs site, whether planning for their first or hundred and first:

Conferences can be a professional boon to early-career scientists, offering countless opportunities to meet mentors and collaborators as well as to impress potential employers. But there is also ample opportunity to trample those very chances. Bad behaviour, whether in or outside a session, can harm a junior researcher's reputation and jeopardize his or her job prospects for years to come.
Although neophyte conference attendees may plan out the talks that they want to hear, rarely do they seek advice about the many unspoken rules of proper conference etiquette. Instead, learning often happens by trial and error. “You kind of muck your way through it,” says Jacquelyn Gill, a palaeoecologist at the University of Maine in Orono. “You figure out the cultural norm from watching other people.”

Ultimately, conference attendance is like being in an interactive stage performance, veteran conference-goers say — and every audience member is part of the act. People notice and remember what others do. “Conferences are wonderful opportunities for students and early-career researchers to learn skills, get feedback and find collaborators,” says Shiffman. But, he adds, “your behaviour at conferences affects your reputation in your field”.

Read more here.

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