Abelson, Philip H. "Communication Between Scientists," Science 221 (9 September 1983), p.
Here is the editor of Science commenting on some of the changes which have occurred in the
ways scientists communicate with one another. It used to be that the Big Name scientist went to
meetings of his professional association. No longer. Professional meetings are declining and, as
attendance falls off, the better names do not attend. (It may just be the hotel atmosphere which
has turned people off.) Whatever the reasons, substitutes are being found for the big meetings.
A popular alternative is electronic mail, but meetings of selective conferees seem to be the wave
of the future. Small conferences, with no more than 100 particpants, seem to be "in." Science,
Abelson argues, requires intimacy and there is no intimacy at big annual meetings.