Speed dating conference
Each point represents a person and the connecting lines show that they already have an academic connection.Once you have all your data and a pretty way to look at it you need a set of rules for pairing people up for their dates (This is basically the same thing that happens on most dating websites when they suggest matches for you).The idea behind this meeting was to strengthen the research field of cell polarity by allowing some of the main players to get together in a more ‘intimate’ environment to share knowledge and ideas. Now, bearing in mind that this conference is being organised by a collection of scientists with an interest in using computers to solve large scale biological problems, that your group of scientists don’t easily divide into two equal groups and that your organisers are all pretty much a massive collection of bio-computing nerds.This is all great, but how do you go about encouraging people to meet new people and not to just catch up with collaborators? It would, of course, be far too easy to follow a standard speed dating paradigm.Ok, so this is probably the nerdiest thing I’ve ever seen anyone do when planning a conference, and after nearly seven years at the University of Cambridge, that’s really saying something.So, along with the free-for-all Cell Polarity conference (see previous post) at the Royal Society that the lab co-organised, we were also invited to organise a much smaller discussion session meeting at Chicheley Hall, a beautiful country house owned by the Royal Society.When their versatile “Conference Speed Dating” app needed a makeover, they came to us.Our solutions for web and mobile allowed AAG’s clinets to white label the product with just the addition of a logo and carefully selected tweaks to the CSS controlled color scheme. We design and build amazing websites, bring life to stories through videos and motion graphics, create inspiring identities and promote brands across social, print, outdoor, and out of home media. We're always ready to listen to your next challenge.
Every scientist loves talking about their work, so once you get them to sit down and to start talking to each other, they always have a great time.
This was a way of breaking the universal cliquishness that sometimes plagues scientific meetings, where people sometimes just talk to friends/collaborators.
I do think we need to come up with a better name, because 'scientific speed dating' conjures up very awkward mental images.
At Chicheley hall we did not have seven days to let the people mix by this random choice, but when we saw the circular discussion table during our site visit we came with the idea of speed-dating (not that we knew more about it than from films).
Quickly we realized we do not have enough theoreticians to match their number with experimentalists to create two 'genders' , thus we came up with the idea of network directed approach to reduce the number of ‘dates’.
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At the conference there were two sets of rules used to create ten dates for each person.