Society for Research on Child Development 2015: Presentations and Posters

The Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD) 2015 Conference took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

It was held in a grandiose old train station/hotel.

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I had been looking forward to this conference for 8 years! See, SRCD was the first conference I ever attended, back in 2007 in Boston when I was a master’s student. I didn’t realize the quality or size of the conference until I had other conferences I could compare it to.

The opening speech was well-intentioned and important, but about 20 years behind Sweden, as it discussed equality, especially between genders.

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SRCD is absolutely one of the biggest (thousands of participants) and has some of the highest quality (ground-breaking research, major grant holders, complex statistical methods) presentations. In fact, it’s the only conference that has ever rejected one of my submissions.

*Not that those who receive a large grant from the NIH or                                     those who do complex statistics necessarily do amazing                                     research, but if you want to get a bigger grant, at least via                                   attending can inform you what others have done to receive                               it…or learn (or at least be aware of) more complex stats.

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The conference is clearly made for psychologists, although there are people from other backgrounds participating (e.g. public health, social medicine, sociology).

I don’t know the correct percentage, but I noticed a pattern when it came to the symposia I attended:  All three/four talks were related; and I’m not just referring to their subject matter. Either the researchers all new each other or, more commonly, they all worked together in some capacity (e.g. receiving the same type of grant from the same funding agency, all working for one main boss, but having separate and disparate research as individuals).

This translates into the lone wolf finding it difficult to ever be involved in a symposium, even if their research is highly related to other talks and of high quality.

As such, you see a lot of students (and others) left to present posters (albeit high-quality posters).

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This amused me, if for no other reason than normally posters aren’t the most high quality–and at SRCD, many of them are; and they will go on to be published in top journals.

In other words, if you don’t get to present in a symposium at SRCD–you’re not alone; and it’s not necessarily a judgement on the quality of your research.

While many conferences in the USA (as compared to Europe and Australia) do not provide lunches; forcing attendees to fend for themselves. However, SRCD did provide some snacks, and even a few games, one evening, creating a fun atmosphere.

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Overall, a great experience, in an historic city, and I can’t wait to attend again in two years.

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