NT08 NT08

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NT08: Ninth International Conference on
the Science and Application of Nanotubes
Montpellier, France
June 29 - July 4, 2008

NT08 Feedback Summary

Prepared by Elisa Del Canto of Trinity College Dublin. With additional comments by David Tomanek in red, addressing foreseen changes at NT09. Expect additional comments by the first week in August 2008.

  1. Web site and preferred abstract submission software
    1. Information was not easy to find.
    2. Some people found the "voucher" system confusing.
    3. Clearer explanation about the registration and payment processes was needed.
    4. Getting the quotation for the registration was too complicated.
    5. Important information was posted too late.
    6. Authors with two affiliations had problems when submitting the abstract since the system did not allow to add two addresses.
    7. There was a slight preference expressed for the NT08 abstract submission software ("French", by Christophe Goze-Bac) over the NT06/NT07 abstract submission software ("Japanese", by Hideaki Mizusaki).
    We will try our best to improve the user friendliness of the NT09 web site. Please note that regulations regarding payment may vary from country to country.
  2. Cost
    1. Registration fee was too high and the yearly increase of the conference fees was considered excessive.
    We intend to reduce the registration fees at NT09 with respect to NT08.
  3. Liked most
    1. Funny and helpful poster summaries
    2. Rich scientific program and reasonable breaks in the conference timetable
    3. High scientific quality of the work presented and keynote lectures
    4. All essential topics in NTs and graphene covered
    5. Conference structure without parallel sessions which permitted the participants to attend all the talks
    6. Saturday satellite workshops
    7. Collaborations between physicist, biologists and chemists
    8. Good opportunities for PhD students to give talks
    9. Excellent general organization
    10. Food was excellent
    11. Lunches, dinners and all the social events were perfect to facilitate interaction among participants both socially and for scientific information exchange
    12. Excursion
    13. City choice
    We intend to keep all this at NT09.
  4. Liked least
    1. Poster session A, B and C were too crowded and the time given was too short to appreciate all the posters. We will adopt a system similar to Sessions D, E, F at NT09. We hope to have a HUGE hall for all posters.
    2. Air conditioning was not enough during the poster sessions. We were lucky to have SOME air conditioning in Europe! The organizers have only moderate influence on this.
    3. Lack of order in poster hanging. We will try to get a better system.
    4. Poster authors were not present at their posters. In any given poster session, we plan to have authors of odd-numbered posters to be at their poster the first half, and authors of even-numbered posters to be present in the second half of the session. This is not ideal, but probably better.
    5. Poster room closed when talks were in session. NT conferences are single-session conferences; priority is to keep on track with one session at a time. Security may be an issue when the poster (and exhibit!!) hall is open outside of poster sessions.
    6. Abstract book was confusing. We will try better at NT09.
    7. Too many talks on graphene and Raman spectroscopy. We intend to limit graphene talks to a few that directly impact on nanotubes. See Article 5.1 in the Charta for topic selection.
    8. The audio system in the lecture room. We can only do so much. We expect a good audio system at the NT09 venue.
    9. Jokes about people during posters chairman oral presentations. The jokes were unintentional. Still, if they do not help, they should be avoided. We will try to do better.
  5. Suggestions
    1. Improve the filtering procedure in terms of quality for submissions. This is nearly impossible for 700+ contributions. Who should decide? See Articles 1-2 in the Charta.
    2. Screen all posters on the same subject matter in order to extract the highest quality works and thereby reduce the number of posters. We will limit one contribution per presenter at NT09 (see Article 2.2 in the Charta.
    3. Allow the use of figures in abstracts and the submission of 2 abstracts in a simple way. Also improve the search function which is not satisfactory yet. We hope to implement the search function. Every presenter may cross-link graphic material posted on his/her own web site.
    4. More involvement from industry and contributions from the manufacturers that are currently producing CNTs. We tried at NT08 already, but hope to have more success at NT09.
    5. More synthesis, chemical functionalization, bio applications, CNT-polymer, nanocomposites and application-oriented oral presentations. We wish to cover the whole field of nanotubes (see Article 5.1 in the Charta.
    6. Have short presentations given by young researchers, in the form of "appetizers", in a very informal way and on specific topics. With 700 participants, Poster+ presentations would take solid 14 hours or two days (see Article 4.3 in the Charta Impracticable!
    7. Organize parallel poster sessions. Sorry, no parallel sessions (see Article 3.2 in the Charta. But -- all posters should remain on display for the entire conference (see Article 4.1 in the Charta).
    8. The conference should be shortened, maybe split in two conferences by structure (graphene and NTs) or by application (devices and chemical applications). Graphene should be split off, unless directly related to nanotubes.
    9. Invite some of the companies working on NTs to help students and postdocs to make fruitful contacts. See above.
    10. Organize a satellite on graphene instead of integrating it in the NT conference. See above.
    11. Half-half time division between posters and talks. See Article 3.4 in the Charta.
    12. Sessions from 9am to 7pm are too long: people seemed very tired in the evening. Being tired is a sign of accommodating lots of interesting information. The only viable alternatives are to present boring contributions, or to cut back on information. We must find an equilibrium for a one-week conference. Still -- NT conferences are no Summer School!
    13. Allow the authors to submit and modify their password-protected abstracts prior to the deadline. We intend to do this.
    14. Use a larger font size for the abstract book and organize it with “by day” sessions for an easier search. We intend to do this.
    15. Combine remote control and laser pointer into one device for speakers. We will use what works!
    16. Provide nicer bags and two-hole badges to avoid their rotation. We may print two-sided badges!
  6. Would like to see
    1. Choice of the best posters more understandable and transparent for all the participants, not only for organizers. Poster awards given only to PhD students because there is no match between senior scientist and student works. We will continue our quest to encourage and reward best student contributions.
    2. Some summarized information from the chairperson poster introduction. Participants should take notes! Poster introductions should be posted on the web shortly after the presentation.
    3. All the talks available electronically during the conference after the day of the talk. Yes, in the best of the worlds. We need the speaker's consent. Or -- speakers will omit their latest results!
    4. Poster PDF files downloadable from the web site. We welcome volunteers to arrange this.
    5. Publication of the proceedings in a nanotube related journal. "No proceedings" is an attractive feature, especially to invited speakers. Everyone should publish in the best journal he/she can find. Links to the publications can be provided in the abstract.
    6. Exhibition of today products with CNTs and possible future applications. We always encourage exhibitors to participate.
    7. A preliminary program online in order to be able to plan the travelling much better before and after the conference. We plan to do this for NT09. Already now, we can say: Satellite meetings June 20, 2009. Tutorials and registration on June 21, 2009. NT09 program June 22-26, 2009. Conference ends Friday evening. We also plan a post-conference Tour of China.
    8. An English speaker responsible at the reception. If this is not possible, please contact local student participants for help.
    9. Posters kept during the whole conference. Yes -- see Article 4.1 in the Charta.
    10. Satellite workshops not organized at the same time. Satellite organizers are free to select time and place. Most participants wished no more than one extra day before the conference. NT organizers will try their best to accommodate special wishes. Satellite conferences may then require a registration fee.
    11. Workshops abstracts available for NT08 audience. We intend to have abstracts accessible to all right after they have been posted, same as at NT06 and NT07.
    12. Conference organized in smaller towns. See Article 6 in the Charta for venue selection.
    13. More parties organized by the conference. Are you kidding? People are tired after the long sessions (see comment 5.12).
    14. A centralized printing service to come poster "hand free". Surely you can print your poster in Beijing, for a fee. Or, print it on silk fabric and wear it after the conference (can be done!). Or, chop it up into smaller pieces that fit into carry-on luggage (I do it this way).
    15. One congress hotel where all scientists could stay together. See Article 6 in the Charta for hotel selection. Some want luxury, some can not afford it. We welcome all.
  7. Complaints
    1. Talks not available on-line even two weeks after the end of the conference. We will try our best to speed up this process.
    2. Time dedicated to chemistry was too short. See Article 5.1 in the Charta for topic selection.
    3. The whole conference would benefit if some of the keynote speakers devoted about half of their time to reviewing the current state of their field and the recent developments. Keynote speakers have been encouraged to do just this. Even they are only humans! True reviews are presented in Tutorials.
    4. The conference was too big with too many people and too many posters (suggestion maximum 500 participants) Expect a limitation to 450 participants at NT11. At NT09 we wish not to exceed 700-800. Who can help us to decide whom to accept and whom to reject?
    5. Excursion organization: some buses did not go to the caves. This should have been an option and not an accidental discovery. We intend to inform everyone ahead of time.
    6. The dinner conference finished too early. The keynote lecture the next morning would suffer if participants came home much later than midnight.
  8. Everyone wants to thank
    1. The organizers.
    2. The chefs for the excellent food.
    3. The chairmen for the fantastic job done preparing poster introductions.