Please send us your Vistas

I recently got an invitation to speak (anonymized as I don’t want to fall out) which included:

“I would very much appreciate a copy of your presentation in advance of the event in Windows XP format as the venue is not migrated to Vista. ”

This is yet another example of technology driving scholarly communication. Increasingly we are asked “please send us your Powerpoints”.

I shall use modulated sound waves for the body of my message and I am tempted not to bring any visual material. But I shall, because I need to communicate what we are actually doing by showing it. Scientists, of course, frequently need to show images of molecules, animals, stars, clouds, etc. and this will and should be the mainstream.

But there is little need to echo the words that I speak by showing them on the screen. When speaking to an international audience it can be very useful to have text on the screen, but this is a UK event and whatever else I speak clearly and loudly and should be comprehensible.

What is inexcusable is how often conference organizers fail to provide any connection to the Internet, and some of these meetings are *about* the Internet and digital age. Even more inexcusable are those places which charge 100USD d^-1 for connections.

(BTW I am still fighting WordPress which loses paragraph breaks regularly…)

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