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The Attendee's Guide to Scientific Meetings

Julian Davies, Professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia and a Fellow of the Royal Society, has authored a humorous post on the Small Things Considered blog on the various methods an attendee of a scientific meeting can employ to enhance "maximum satisfaction and poise" one gets out of such gatherings.

"It is also essential that you pin your name tag in a place where your full name is not readily visible—partly behind your lapel, for example. When you arrive at the reception, circle the outside of the room and pick out a few people that you do recognize and whose name you can recall. Stride boldly up and greet each of them in turn using their name. If you are of the same approaching-senior age group, there is a 50% chance that they will recognize you but not remember your name. Since they cannot see your whole name card, you will likely witness their desperate efforts to decipher your name. You will then begin to feel good!"

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