Then and Now, Big and Small: Poster sessions

In Natural Attraction, Clementine must face crowds of experienced scientific men and make her case for discovering a new species by giving a talk and demonstration. Over a century later, presenting research via a poster is common and even at times, controversial. As with science fair displays, a formal poster session is a great way to accommodate numerous presenters in a short period of time.

Here’s a poster of mine from the 80s. The first thing scientists of today will notice is how big and beautiful it is. Yeah, the 80s were big all over.  No computer generated posters. A real live secretary printed this off and since it isn’t crooked, probably glued it to the poster paper for me. Some of this research is what a man tried to steal (see previous post.)

RTP 80s style jpg
A poster session 80s style.

These days, posters, glasses, and hair are much smaller. 10325363_10152128198560665_944410361826256467_n

This week my research students wrapped up another successful semester. Yes, there are moments during research when you wonder a’what ever were we thinking?” with a project. The great thing about research is, you aren’t alone. That whole solitary scientist in lab alone is a myth. We work in groups.  Why did Dr. Frankenstein run into trouble? He didn’t have a lab group!

Here’s my research group and their posters, made via Power Point and a big printer. A little blue tape and they’re up with ease.research 2016

Although analytical chemists are known to improve their technique with age, students this semester remarked on more than one occasion that time isn’t always on your side–the brain shrinks with age. (Were they sending me a subtle message? I was teaching an extra class.) But we did it , and we won’t talk about our struggles. Our posters went up, they look beautiful, and now comes some of the sadness of being a teacher, the end of the year good-byes.



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