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RE: Dinofest 2002/ Symposium Question

> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Darryl Jones
> Does anybody know where the 2002 Dinofest is planned for?  Is
> there a plan
> for one?

Haven't a clue.  I'm more interested in when/if the volume for the Philly
DinoFest is coming out.

> On a distantly related note, I was wondering what was involved in
> running a
> symposium.  With all of the great ones being so far away from me,
> I started
> thinking about how to bring one to my locality.  This is all
> hypothetical,
> but it might be a good way for anybody interested who has never
> been a part
> of on to find out some info.
> So my questions:
> 1.    What attracts possible presenters to a symposium?  Is it
> the area that
> the presentation will take place?  Is it how nicely they are
> asked?  Is it
> money?  Which leads to the next question:

Among the factors are:
Interesting topic;
Interesting location;
Interesting specimens on hand;
Good timing (i.e., NOT during the middle of the semester, for university
folk!! (with some exceptions));
Asking nicely always helps, as does defrayment of costs...

> 2.    How much is a presenter paid (roughly, I am trying not to
> pry)?  Are
> they expecting accommodations in the place of the presentations?

Depends on the forum.  Sometimes we don't get paid diddly; sometimes its
travel plus accomodations; sometimes its that plus food; sometimes its a bit
of additional money on the side.

> 3.    Is there an expectation of having a publication produced
> resulting from
> talks at the symposium?

This DEFINITELY helps.  It will get some people interested in presenting who
may have some project in the background that they want to get in print.

> 4.    Who normally runs and organizes these?

Poor misbegotten souls who..., er, various and sundry folk, actually,
Faculty from a university/museum (most common);
Interested governmental or commerical or non-profit bodies (hopefully with
help of the above);
Interested lay folk (again, hopefully with help/advice from professionals).

Above all, you need the help of some administratively oriented people who
can make everything happen logistically (arrange times & places for talks,
travel plans, etc.).

> 5.    Do they work better if they coincide with a major display
> at a local museum?

This does seem to help.  If nothing else, if there is something new at the
museum, you'll probably draw some speakers who are interested in seeing the

> 6.    Finally, what makes a successful symposium?  Is it better to get
> differing opinions?  Is it better to stick to a narrow topic?

Extremely tough to judge this in advance.  The mix of people, the interest
in the topic, the newness of the material, the diversity of opinions, the
quality of the drinks (:-), can all help make for a good meeting.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796