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CASi 2011: My First Conference

During the past two days, I have been attending my first actual conference: CASi 2011 (Conference on Analytical Sciences: Ireland). It was being held at DCU, and so it did not involve much travel or other expenses, making it ideal for my first conference attendance. I had heard about it a couple of months ago, and had asked to send in an abstract for a poster presentation. My supervisors agreed, and after some months I heard that I got accepted. Therefore the past two days have been filled with conference related activities.

Overall I can say that this conference has been really useful to me, even though just one oral presentation was directly related to what I am doing. However the opportunity to talk to other people was the most beneficial aspect. In particular I got talking to three individuals, who have given me some good insights into my project, and I look forward to perhaps collaborating with them, and have some friendly discussions.

I am also glad I made it to the conference dinner yesterday, since I got to meet other scientists in Ireland, who are mainly in the same boat as myself, in that most are PhD students or post-docs. By having attended a DCU organised conference, it was also good to meet other people working in the University, particularly students from the School of Chemistry. This is because my research is largely chemistry based. However, I am situated in another school which makes interaction somewhat problematic.

Furthermore, since the conference was sponsored by the RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry) publishing division (amongst others), we got access to a couple of hard copy journals relevant to analytical science. I generally just access journals online, and have only looked at really old journals which would be unavailable online, in print. Therefore it was something of a novelty to get to see and flip through actual journals, and see how they are presented, rather than looking at a pdf.

It was also interesting to see all the different approaches to presentations (oral and poster) other people take, and I hope that I have taken something of that with me. I look forward to my next conference (hopefully in April), which should be more directly related to my area of research. However, this was a great start.

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