Monday, May 24, 2010

I like Cavtat conference format

The Cavtat conference is on at present. I like the format of the conference. There is a great emphasis on discussions, and not on monologues by the presenters. The talks are restricted to 20 or 25 minutes followed by a discussion and formal exchange with another 45 minutes or so. Such a format encourages a real debate, but its success depends very strongly on the willingness and ability of the conference participants to engage in real debates. And that's where I see an obstacle; most clinicians and researchers are unwilling to speak their mind and tip toe around controversial issues. And many are too scared to speak in front of other people and willing to defend their ideas or ask probing questions, skills that they happily teach their stuttering patients! And many are unable to engage in scientific or intellectual debates because they have intellectually grown up in an clinical environment with a lack of role models, or are simply unable to have such debates without falling for fallacies. In any case, there is not more one can do but dance with the girls that are on the ball. The conference is a good initiative by Suzana Jelcic Jaksic and Mark Onslow.

Disclaimer: This praise does not extend to the content and quality of the presenters but only for the format as such!

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