The 74th Annual Meeting of the American Malacological Society was at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois last week. For various speculative reasons, the meeting was less well attended, with only 100 or so malacologists, than some of the recent meetings that had attracted as many as 150 attendees.
Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.
Less people meant fewer presentations; in fact, on Wednesday, the last day of the meeting, there was only one set of talks. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because when there are too many simultaneous talks, one is often forced to choose between 2 or more talks that one may be interested in. On the other hand, the land snail ID session, the poster session and the traditional AMS auction all took place on Tuesday night. I didn’t think there was enough time to look at specimens, to read the posters and chat with the presenters and to go thru the books and reprints that were on sale. Moreover, all of those activities were interrupted with frequent trips to the beer stand for refills (and to the men’s room for obvious reasons). I have been told that the cramming of those activities into short time slots in rented rooms were out of financial necessity.
There were many good and interesting talks and posters. In retrospect, however, I am not sure what the terrestrial gastropod workshop and the ID session had intended to accomplish and what was actually achieved. It seemed to me that the majority of those in attendance were already more or less experienced malacologists. The abstracts of all presentations are available here.
On Thursday we also had a fun field trip. I will write about that in another post.
Besides providing venues for presenting one’s latest research and learning about what others have been up to, these meetings are also great opportunities for renewing one’s friendships, for making new friends and for casual exchanges of scientific ideas. I would recommend the AMS meetings to everyone interested in studying mollusks. While in Carbondale, we were already making plans not just for next year’s meeting in Ithaca, New York, but even for the one in 2010 that may take place in Thailand jointly with the World Congress of Malacology.
Photos from the meeting are at bella chiocciola.
Getting ready for the group photo.