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Do We Really Need Posters?

Science culture has changed and maybe poster sessions at conferences aren't as useful as they used to be, according to Ms.PhD at YoungFemaleScientist. "Posters are only useful for beginners, those working on the truly obscure, those whose work is already in press but who hate public speaking, chumps who want to get scooped," she says. The only way to "get anywhere" is to be invited to give a talk, the blogger suggests. The awards process for posters is random at best, she adds, and fewer people pay attention to the work because it's in the beginning stages, and has not yet been peer-reviewed. "Seems to me that poster sessions should be more about discussion and feedback, and less about prancing about like puppies at Best in Show," Ms.PhD says. "If the project is finished and published in a peer-reviewed journal already, you don't really care what we think, do you? You already have the stamp of approval from your so-called 'peers.'" If posters display work that's already been done, then poster sessions are just about bragging, Ms.PhD says, adding that she'd "rather stay home."