Neuroscience 2013 Packing List

photo(8)I’m a hardcore list maker. I make to-do lists, reading lists, and, when it comes to a trip, you’ll never find me without a packing list. Let’s pretend this hyper-organization is an expression of the scientist in me, not the Type A, anal person, ok?  SfN’s Annual Meeting, or really any huge academic conference, is a unique animal, and thus it requires a unique packing list. I hope this list is at least somewhat useful for my fellow Neuroscience 2013 attendees, especially if it’s your first Annual Meeting:

(1) Your Annual Meeting name badge – Am I the only one who has nightmares in which I travel across the country for the SfN Annual Meeting only to realize my badge is on my desk in lab? Maybe. But, either way, don’t forget your badge, or you’ll pay a pretty penny (relative to grad student stipends) to get it reprinted onsite.

(2) Poster tube AND posters – As a perpetual over-packer, I invariably check my bag when I travel for conferences. Accordingly, I am often taxed with the burden of bearing the lab’s poster tube as my personal carry-on for flights.  For that week, our lab’s threatening-looking long black poster tube becomes like my own appendage. Again, am I the only one who has nightmares about leaving the poster tube at an airport Chilli’s? Also, remembering to actually put the posters in the poster tube is a plus.

(3) Advil (a whole bottle) – This item came as a recommendation from one of my labmates before my first experience of an SfN Annual Meeting. I was so glad I took his advice. Everyday, for some reason, (maybe it was all the amazing science hurting my brain?) 2:30 PM hit and my head was throbbing.

(4) Granola bars and a water bottle – Navigating the poster hall at an Annual Meeting is like a marathon (row A to FFF, people), only there’s 30,000 other people running around, and, oh, everyone’s looking at their program and not where they’re going, creating a really nerdy obstacle course. Needless to say, sustenance is a must.

(5) iPad (if you’re really snobby like me) + the Neuroscience 2013 App – Last year, I was really impressed with the Neuroscience 2012 app and the 2013 version seems to be equally as excellent. You can use the app to create itineraries, browse the program and even check an #SfN13 Twitter feed. Instead of toting around the literal books that are the programs for each day of the meeting, I find the app to be a user (and tree) friendly alternative.

Alongside my typical travel accoutrements, the above items will definitely be joining me for Neuroscience 2013. What tops your Neuroscience 2013 packing list?


Get excited for Neuroscience 2013

I’m super excited and honored to announce that I have been selected as an official Annual Meeting Blogger for Neuroscience 2013! Neuroscience 2013, being held in San Diego, is this year’s annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. I’ll be posting here on Neurolore at least once a day November 9-13 as I experience the wonderful whirlwind that is an SfN Annual Meeting. Follow me on Twitter (@TheMrsZam) for additional tidbits of Neuroscience 2013.

My official themes as an Annual Meeting Blogger are Disorders of the Nervous System and History, Teaching, Public Awareness, and Societal Impacts in Neuroscience. However, I also look forward to a wide-ranging discussion on all things neuroscience. See you in San Diego!

A Small Detour into World Hunger

I’m in Des Moines, Iowa this week covering the 2013 World Food Prize for a journalism class I’m taking at MU. The World Food Prize is an annual event dedicated to honoring members of the scientific community who have made significant contributions toward eliminating world hunger and food insecurity.

Here’s the link to our class blog, if you want to follow along!