“Everyone else is going. It’s so unfair. They just don’t understand. Everyone else’s supervisor said yes.” Denis has been sent to his scientific bedroom and he isn’t impressed. He contacted the Sassy Scientist via Tiktok to ask:
My supervisor has banned me from going to conferences. What shall I do?
You supervisor is a mean, heartless seg-fault who was around when dinosaurs walked the Earth? I’m sorry you feel that way, Denis. Let’s see if we can unpack your reasoning and try to find a way forward together.
What did you want to present? Ah, it’s not quite finalised yet. That’s normal, no one writes an abstract having actually done the research. What is your plan? Oh, you need to go through it with Fred in the bar first. Do you often collaborate with Fred? What’s he working on? Is he allowed to go to conferences? I see. He was trained at the university of life, department of hard knocks and doesn’t have funding. Do you often stay up until dawn debating you latest theories? Does that not affect your productivity at work? Do you not think that maybe your supervisor has justified doubts about your readiness to attend a conference?
Could it be that your supervisor has a point about the wisdom of attending a conference in a covid-19 hotspot? Perhaps they are right that it would be better to wait until next year. Socially distanced poster sessions and ice-breakers just won’t be the same. At least we still have vEGU21 to look forward to.
The Sassy Scientist
PS: This blog post was written to pretend that this scientist has not entered a negative productivity feedback loop: no conference deadlines, no work, nothing to present. A blog post counts as output, right?