I’m writing this entry on a plane returning from the Academy Health conference in Seattle. I was manning my company’s booth at the conference attended mostly by researchers and those interested in public health policy. Normally the meetings where we exhibit are attended by clinicians, where they are bombarded with shiny bright set-ups and promotional tchotkes from pharma companies. This time there were far more interesting exhibitors, including representatives from the NIH’s National Library of Medicine, an open access database of federally-funded medical research. The lady at the booth and I had a nice conversation about open access. I’m glad there are groups out there doing this sort of work on behalf of us all.
Also there was something else I noticed.
This is what I was looking at most of the conference, the poster sessions. This is how the researchers put their work for their colleagues to view and judge. On a poster. Like the things you made in elementary school with glitter glue. One can envision in the future, these giant backboards being flat screen digital displays and their presentations being multimedia. But for now, I think it’s amusing in its simplicity that, while scholars are using cutting edge technology to aid in their research, the great scholarly research reporting medium is the poster.