[Grad-postdoc-assn] Thursday social

Simona Bordoni bordoni at ucar.edu
Mon Feb 2 22:15:20 MST 2009

Dear All,
as you know, the Social on Thursday will be a chance to discuss the  
selection process and suggestions for the 2009 lectures. For those of  
you who were not there for the selection process, some issues were  
raised about the voting system and the need for clearer guidelines for  
the future. This will be the starting point of our discussion on  
Thursday. Additionally, please, find below a brief summary  from the  
TLS evaluation forms that were filled up after Ray Pierrehumbert's  
visit. I thought it could be also useful to discuss if we want to  
implement some of these suggestions in future lectures. And of course,  
other ideas are always welcome!
Hope to see many of you on Thursday!

Summary from TLS evaluation forms

Responses were in general quite positive. The main message emerging is  
that the choice of the right lecture is the key for successful events!  
In that respect, Ray was indeed outstanding. A few issues raised:

1) Participation to the scientific roundtable discussion. Depending on  
the area of expertise of the speaker, not all postdocs feel very  
motivated to attend. One person suggested to shorten it; another  
person suggested that the two big roundtable discussions could be  
broken into smaller group discussions. A person suggested to have some  
ncar senior scientists participate in the roundtable discussions.

2) Speaker introduction should be joined to the career roundtable  
discussion in future visits. This gives a better scope to the initial  
introduction, allows us to get to know the speaker and gets the  
conversation going.

3) leave some flexibility in the individual meetings duration. Some  
people might be more than happy with 30 minutes, some people might  
need more.

4) A couple of people raised a point that I liked a lot: to better  
prepare ourselves for the visits, we could ask the lectures to send  
before-hand one or two papers which will be relevant to his/her talks.  
One person suggested to have a journal club style study of these two  
papers before the visit, with maybe some of the most interested  
postdocs leading the discussion and presenting the papers to the  
others. This of course would result in more time invested in preparing  
for the visit, but maybe a better/more successful outcome?

5) A couple of people suggested to move some of the discussions  
outdoors if the weather allows.

Simona Bordoni
Postdoctoral Researcher
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Office: FL-3 2070
Phone: (303) 497-8993
web: http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~bordoni/

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