Weighing the costs of conferencing

Attending distant meetings offers a lot of benefits, despite high costs

By Janet Raloff, 13:39 PM April 3, 2012

A provocative editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association questions the value of attending scientific conferences. It’s a theme that reemerges every few years. And in times of tight budgets, the idea seems worth revisiting.

“In theory, these meetings aim to disseminate and advance research, train, educate, and set evidence-based policy,” observes John Ioannidis, director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center. But worthy as such goals may be, he argues in the journal’s ...

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