So LBP Forum has been and gone to Melbourne, a definite highlight being the ‘birth’ of the ICECReam. For those not there a small group of early career researchers got together to briefly talk about creating some links between us and having a forum for contact and discussion. This website has been set up for that purpose and you’re reading the very first post – so welcome, have a look around and tell us what you think! I’ve a few observations about the Forum and look forward to hearing from others regarding what they thought of it.
For me a highlight of the Forum was hearing from a few of the people outside, but kind of next to the researchers. The policy people and the media people. I guess a lot of what I heard was kind of depressing, although not really unexpected – everyone looking for ‘the answer’ in one sexy sentence. It seems to me that the worst interpretation of research comes when the findings of study get boiled down to a single headline, especially when there is some interest in a result one way or the other. On the other hand, to hear how that happens is useful and it was nice to hear the messages delivered with the honesty regardless of how unpalatable they might be.
Another real strength of the Forum was the small size which presents an opportunity to hear, sit-next-to and talk to the famous (in a researchy kind of way) people who write the papers we read and try and understand. (This was something brought up by a couple of people in the workshop). Also nice was to find out that – mostly – they’re just like normal people and happy to talk if you ask them a question. A significant downside was seeing several of them dance at the Forum dinner.