Monday, July 12, 2004

Bringing Families to Conferences

When we have a conference or a workshop in a tourist location, like Banff, many of the participants bring their non-computer scientist spouses and sometimes their whole families. I rarely do so. The main purpose in attending conferences and workshops is not the talks but to meet with your fellow researchers. The main purpose of a family vacation is to spend time with the family. These conflicting goals would make me feel guilty during the whole conference no matter how I split my time. Sometimes I will bring the wife or the family a week before or after or between conferences but conference time is science time.

Still I cannot fault my fellow scientists who bring their families to conferences. I would much rather they attend the conference with their families than not come at all. Every professional has a major challenge in balancing family and work life and they need to find the right mix that works for them.

1 comment:

  1. I think that everyone should bring their family to conferences. Who the heck cares about complexity anyways? It should be a fun filled gala.