Richard J. Hughes
>This is a first for me. I am enjoying the presentations very much and have contacted a few authors. However, I do agree with previous comments that one misses seeing the speakers but who knows that might even be possible in the future.
It's really great to see people from different parts of the world checking in here. This is the best advantage that this kind of meeting offers -- the ability for people from anywhere to interact and the democratisation of science.
Nevertheless this does lack the ambience of a "real" meeting. There's *something* to be said for the harried scheduling and the hustle bustle of meetings.
This meeting is ghostly quiet in comparison and seeing some faces would help populate it. This is possible now. It's easy enough to take digital snapshots of the authors and attach these pictures to the presentations. Likewise with this Ceilidh software it's possible to attach pictures to messages and one option, that isn't switched on here, permits optional binding of images to the registration database so that the authors' photographs appears in the upper right hand corner of each message.
The real value of meetings is not in the formal scientific presentations, but in the discussions that ensue, often over a pint of beer. There's no way we can simulate that, but we have been able to provide public venues (these forums) and the opportunity for private get togethers (by e-mail). The real value of this meeting will come from any collaborations that are formed as a result of people meeting here.
If this meeting precipitates any collaborations, then we would love to hear about them.