Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Live from AChemS

So I made it to St. Pete Beach, Florida for AChemS—the big smell & taste confab. The venue is the Tradewinds Island Grand which is a hellaciously expensive cab ride from the Tampa airport. The upside is that this sprawling property is right on the beach; the downside is that it’s sprawling. The 700 or so of us (minus about 100 Europeans stranded by volcano smoke) will be dispersed rather thinly through the various pools, bars and tiki lounges that dot the place. Critical mission: to find a between-sessions and after-hours spot for the tribal gatherings. At least this is the mission for the Smell People; the Tasties are on their own.

I see that Nathan Branch recently commented on my Fear of Facebook:

Avery, I’ve often wondered why you’re not on Facebook. I think it would be a great way for you to promote your book and your website (Twitter, too). Just get over your East Coast Cranky (tm) attitude about not wanting to be “friends” with everybody and set up an account already! ;)
Coincidently, the table conversation at this evening’s opening banquet turned to FB. Those with a page included the wife of one scientist, and a researcher from Fred Hutch Cancer Center. Those without: scientists from Brown, Syracuse/SUNY Med, Le Moyne, Harvard Med, another Fred Hutch guy, and an Aussie. The French neuroscientist has an account she set up as a gathering place for her extended family.

So from this non-random but representative sample, I’d say scientists have an aversion to FB. It’s not like they afraid of the web: it’s where they find papers, submit and review grant proposals and journal articles, and last but not least communicate with students and colleagues via email. Maybe it’s just too icky-personal? Or too blatantly self-promoting? I dunno.

FB—I don’t wanna get sucked in.


~x~ said...

it's more for the funny shit, mister.
just sayin.
everything's not pi times infinity plus volcanoes.
what about the funny stuff that happens in the tiki lounge?
or the spun out doctor on a bender who makes a pass at you with toilet paper flowing out the back of his dockers on accident.
what about that.

~x~ said...,1839/

Nathan Branch said...

Avery, that South Park episode was one of the most hilarious things I've ever seen . . . and was a great argument for never going anywhere near online social media.

Though I still think you should dip your toe in the water. I won't ask you to water my crops -- honest!