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Garth I. Patterson patterson at frodo.mgh.harvard.edu
Fri Mar 24 06:57:01 EST 1995

I wanted to respond to a a couple of arguments that were made about having
the meeting every year.  A couple of people state that attendance at the
meeting would go down if the meeting were held every year.  I used to do
maize genetics, and I can tell you that I went to the international
meeting every year, as did every PI and virtually every postdoc and
graduate student (with the exception of some from Europe, due to the high
cost).  I deveIoped friendships with dozens of people in the maize
community because I got the opportunity to meet with them 3-7 times while
I was in graduate school.  I hope that people who used to work in yeast,
Drosophila, Arabidopsis, and so on will comment on this issue.  (By the
way, does any other organismal research community have meetings

A second argument was made that the meeting is so big that you wouldn't
have a chance really to see everyone anyway, and you probably wouldn't get
a talk.  I consider this to be an argument in FAVOR of yearly meetings. 
If the community is large, to the extent that opportunities to speak to
people and give talks at meetings are limited, then why not INCREASE THE
OPPORTUNITY by having the meeting every year.  The number of people
working on maize is similar to the number working on C. elegans, but the
competition for talks at the meeting is nothing like it is in worms,
because the number of slots is twice as large.


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