[Linux-aus] Re: LCA: bringing the process forward

Jonathan Oxer jon at ivt.com.au
Thu Feb 16 05:55:01 UTC 2006

On 2/16/06, Dave Davey <daved at windclimber.id.au> wrote:
> I'm involved with the Australian Physiological Society, a professional
> organisation that runs annual scientific meetings.  These generally
> involve a number of keynote speakers from overseas, and 5 or 6 symposia
> which may also involve overseas participants.
> We have evolved, over nearly 50 years of operation, a system where...

Thanks for your perspective Dave! LA definitely needs to learn from
the experiences of other organisations so I appreciate the overview of
the process used by the APS.

> This system has worked well for several reasons.  The Local Secretary becomes a
> real part of the Society management for the 2 years leading up to their meeting.
> The Local Secretary attends two meetings prior to theirs when they know
> they will be responsible for a subsequent one, and can monitor the conduct
> of those meetings for strengths and weaknesses.  There is overlap of Local
> Secretaries, so experience and collective wisdom can be shared, and the
> re-invention of wheels is minimised.

I think this is a critical point. Something I've said before to
prospective LCA hosts is that they need to offer themselves as slaves
to the upcoming organisers so they can get some first-hand experience
of what happens behind the scenes. With the current process the
winning team is not officially announced until the preceeding event,
which is rather too late to get the winning team involved in helping
run it.

IMHO (and keeping in mind that I'm speaking as someone who has never
organised an LCA!) it would be a big advantage to have the winning
team known at least 18 months in advance, giving them at least 6
months as apprentices to the current team before taking on the main
role themselves. Ideally I'd like to see the 2008 decision made by
June or July this year, with the winning team then officially grafted
onto the 2007 team as apprentices. Then the 2009 team apprentices to
the 2008 team, and so on. It sounds like the APS process takes this
even further, with decisions made 24 months out so the winning team
are apprentices for the 2 events prior to their own.

Cheers   :-)


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