Year : 2008 | Volume
: 12 | Issue : 1 | Page : 1-
Department of Oral and Maxillo Facial Pathology, Meenakshi Ammal Dental College and Hospital, Tamilnadu, India
Department of Oral and Maxillo Facial Pathology, Meenakshi Ammal Dental College and Hospital, Alapakkam Main Road, Maduravoyal, Chennai - 600 095, Tamilnadu
|How to cite this article:|
Sivapathasundharam B. Conferences.J Oral Maxillofac Pathol 2008;12:1-1
|How to cite this URL:|
Sivapathasundharam B. Conferences. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol [serial online] 2008 [cited 2021 Jan 16 ];12:1-1
Available from: https://www.jomfp.in/text.asp?2008/12/1/1/42188
You must have started receiving the first call letters, brochures, and final call letters of various conferences. Long ago, conferences were only an annual event. Nowadays, there are annual specialty conferences, mid-term conferences, PG conventions, national conferences, state conferences etc.
Conferences are normally meant to share and exchange ideas and experiences. But if looked at practically, many participants start their research only after getting the final call letter of the conference or after sending the abstract (you must have noticed the line "the results will be discussed" in the printed souvenir). Most of us just do not take the conferences seriously.
Conferences have now become a meeting place for old friends and a stress breaker from the routine. In a three-day conference, the first half-day is devoted to registration, collection of gift and participation certificate (a few vanish after getting this), and relaxation after the long travel. The afternoon session will be attended by a few and the rest go for a sleep or makeover for the colorful inaugural ceremony or banquet.
Things are even worse in a general dental conference where the delegates are so busy in the stalls and bargain materials for their clinic. Literally, there will be very few in the conference hall. It is really pathetic to deliver lectures and present papers to empty chairs or chairs with sleeping delegates. The organizers, at the end, usually claim that the conference is successful, with so many registered delegates and so many numbers of papers presented. Indeed, it would be really successful if half the number of delegates attends at least 80 percent of the scientific sessions and if half the number of scientific papers is really meaningful.
It is atrocious to see many delegates with cigarette in one hand and wineglass in the other in the banquet hall, who eagerly presented papers and interacted about the ill-effects of tobacco and alcohol in the morning sessions.
The final day starts late because of hangover and packing of luggage. The last half-day is for the valedictory function. Many start leaving after lunch and hardly very few remain till the end along with the organizers.
This is the anatomy and physiology of many conferences. It may appear a little exaggerated probably for those who have not attended any conferences. But it is the bitter fact. For any national conference, the expenditure runs in lakhs, and the time spent to organize or attend is enormous, but the take-home message is almost nothing.
It is better to have self-control to limit the number of conferences, limit the number of delegates to a manageable level, and encourage creative and meaningful interaction instead of trying to corner the presenter with questions, only to seek the attention of others. The resources, time, and money used for such conferences can be spent in a better way to create a scientific literature. The specialty professional bodies can publish books with Indian data, set up regional libraries, or special training centers to impart the latest techniques to academicians, researchers, and practitioners.
If at all the busy professionals want to relax and meet their friends and colleagues, let us then have it as get-together parties and not misuse in the name of scientific conferences. I pray that all the specialty associations soon change this conference culture and sow the seeds in the minds of youngsters that a conference is only for scientific purposes and nothing else.
With warm regards,
Sivapathasundharam B.[Figure 1]