Invited to speak: SICB 2022 Seminar
This January, I was invited to speak at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) 2022 seminar for Open-Source Hardware in Biology. I was invited based on my work with Eli Bridge on the LunAero project. But, what was really exciting for me was this is my first, big invited talk. I feel like a real researcher, somebody actually reads my papers! In my talk, I gave an overview of the LunAero project and discussed some of the directions it will head in the future. A forthcoming paper published in Integrative & Comparative Biology will expand on this growth in more detail.
Conference a la COVID
The Open-Source Hardware in Biology session was on the last day of the conference, a frequent schedule for interdisciplinary topics. However, this means that most of the attendees had already gone home. It did not help that the conference took place during the peak of the Omicron COVID surge. Despite 99+% vaccination rates for attendees, many people chose to stay home. I only registered for one day of the conference, since most of the non-hardware biology talks did not interest me. Instead of the usual hustle and bustle of an academic conference, I was greeted by a vacancy reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic story. No sponsors were there, and ladies at reception seemed a little confused that someone was just now showing up. Overall, it was not the best conference experience.
Despite the challenges, the talks were great! I really enjoyed interacting with hardware-focused colleagues. Since few speakers were physically present at the meeting, I had great one-on-one discussions with the organizer, Richelle Tanner. She and other organizers are pushing hard for more people to embrace open-source hardware in biology. This is the kind of innovation that the sciences need to give students the practical skills to do something useful with their degrees.
If you signed up for SICB+, the online only version of SICB for COVID, you can view my presentation online. If you don’t have access to SICB+ but still want to hear about it, send me an email.