SVPCA Glasgow 2007 - Fifth Circular - So long, and thanks for all the Big Dead Fish*…...
Well, ladies and gentlemen, its over, and the jester is finally leaving the building - but there's still (inevitably) time for a last series of announcements…
Those who wish amendments to be made before the registered version is printed, then PLEASE get your requests in this week. Don't believe that your amendments (if mentioned to me in passing during the maelstrom of 'That Week') have been incorporated until you receive an explicit e-mail confirmation from me. Check the pdf of the current version on the website here to make sure that you are satisfied. All comments to me before the October 10th deadline - alterations or comments after this date will be deemed too late to be incorporated.
Similarly, the SVP (Bristol in September) versus EAVP (Brussels in the Spring) for 2009 vote closes on October 10th - currently it is extremely finely-balanced, so vote early, vote often (well, once, actually) at this site: http://www.svpca.org/general/2009Meeting/index.php
The last orders for those classic conference t-shirts (subtly fusing the staining of zoological specimens with the stain-glass of Glasgow's decorative arts heritage as the birthplace of art nouveau, and the [muffin-free] Richard Forrest black and white logo for the meeting) are currently being processed (Marc and Stig, you have not been forgotten), so you have a couple of days if you want to piggy-back on them and obtain this highly desirable fashion accessory - £15 including P<P. Remember, each t-shirt also features a backprint of a Charles Rennie Mackintosh 3x3 grid containing the SVPCA 'tour dates', as well as a full-colour piratical pair of crossed Leedsichthys gill rakers…..
I'm not sending out any more (as they take substantially more time than you'd think to produce). I had two more requests last week, and I've got to draw a line sometime, so (unless you have a compelling argument that you wish to put to me - perhaps involving beer) consider that ship as having now sailed, struck the iceberg, and sunk.
There are too many people to thank, not least of which are all of you delegates out there: after a slow start to registrations, a final rush happened in the last 6-8 weeks that brought us close to breaking even (sorry, Gar - no float for you next year…). Thanks to the presenters, both poster and oral for what I have been consistently told was a rich and stimulating programme of material (I wouldn't know, as I probably spent less than half an hour in both lecture theatres all week) - so please give yourselves a pat on the back for doing that. I would personally like to thank the session chairs (many of whom were doing it for the first time) who I did witness doing a stalwart job - it can often seem a dull and unrewarding experience but you made it interesting and - above all - entertaining, which was exactly what I wanted. And speaking of entertaining, thanks to my impromptu attractive assistants for the last presentation of the meeting at ten to five on Friday afternoon - I don't think anybody realised it was unrehearsed, guys….
Thanks to all the annoyed people who ultimately complied with my request for references in their abstracts - I hope that you will all agree that the abstracts volume is a far better piece of work for that extra effort. Thanks to Per Ahlberg for coming up with the best accepted reason for not including references: "Unsupported assertions are much more interesting" - way to go, Per!
Thanks to those who contributed their signatures at the Annual Dinner (the alternative menu for those who opted out can be found here) for the conference photograph to go to auction to Jones-Fenleigh next year in Dublin, along with the highly-collectable Mike Coates signed 21st anniversary series of prints - both of these are liable to be highly sought-after and fetch grossly-inflated prices - we hope. The Michaela Forthuber-signed simulated rock also promises to be an extremely lucrative charity earner…
Taking on the task of single-handedly organising an international meeting is, shall we say, a courageous and dedicated undertaking - which frankly becomes foolhardy and impossible come the week of the meeting itself. For that week, although I have frequently recorded my thanks to Dr. Paula Summerly, curator of the Healing Passion history of medicine permanent exhibition in the Hunterian, I think it is worthwhile doing it once more. She was a facilitating and experienced rock amongst the noise of that week - her recent experience organising a 1-day conference at the University served me better than my own twenty year old memories of organising an EU international meeting in Edinburgh. I wish her well in her new life in Cleveland.
And of course I have to mention Richard Forrest. (No, really.) Richard came up
on the Sunday with the SVPCAMobile, and provided the necessary transportation
for myself and Paula to flit about the campus and Glasgow in general, picking
up the items that we needed for the meeting to happen. But more than that,
he created the infrastructure that enabled me to deliver the conference. I
had felt that it should be possible to do the meeting organisation entirely
electronically, and Richard was able to set up webforms and e-mail systems
to make that happen. To quote Mark Evans, "I couldn't have done it without
him." He was also fairly swift to address glitches as they came up, for which
I am very grateful. The systems that he used for the Leicester 2004 meeting
have been augmented and improved for Glasgow 2007, and for Dublin we are even
hopeful that it won't be necessary for the organiser to individually paste
all 469 e-mail addresses when they want to send out an e-mail circular. And
his tireless tweaking of the formatting of the abstracts volume will ultimately
yield a solid and citeable 'product' for all of us from the time that we had
together in Glasgow this year. Which is to say nothing for his dedicated design
and provision of the mechanism for the SVP/EAVP vote for 2009.
And as the lights go down one final time, I leave you with this image from the meeting, and hope that your memories are (almost) all good. Because, let's face it, people, SVPCA Glasgow 2007 - it was more than just a muffin….
SVPCA/SPPC 2007 Organiser (retired),
* P.S. - The phrase 'Big Dead Fish' remains © Dr. Jon E. Jeffery.