Some scattered tips for not being a jerk at conferences

This is excellent advice from David Lincicum. I’ll simply add that, in my experience and from an administrator’s perspective, it’s rather obvious when you’re only talking to someone because you think they can get you a job. Don’t do that, either.

David Lincicum

The summer is nearly upon us, and that means conferences. I’m not the most avid conference-goer, though I generally enjoy them when I actually make it. We academics can be a difficult lot, with fragile egos and precious little affirmation to go around. For that reason, conferences can be brutal, disenchanting experiences, particularly for those in doctoral programs or early in their career. Having some familiarity with these negative exchanges, having both suffered and more often inflicted on others, I thought I’d draft a minor list of tips to help those entering the fray. Needless to say, this list is neither exhaustive nor authoritative, and others have offered more useful practical tips elsewhere, but these are things that came to mind. 

  1. Praise others effusively and genuinely whenever possible. Academics are critical people, and rightly so, since we are invested in the careful weighing of claims and sober assessment of evidence…

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2 thoughts on “Some scattered tips for not being a jerk at conferences

  1. I mightily agree with these conference attending tips. At ETS ’12 in Milwaukee, you talked for a short time in the hotel lobby with me. Although not a profound, life-altering conversation, i greatly appreciated the time. Something I will always keep in mind if/when I enter the academy or any area of work.

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