28 No. 5
Roger Fenwick and Leiv K. Sydnes
chairperson constitutes an essential component of any major
scientific symposium. It is important that those selected
for such a task understand that the role of the chairperson
is to facilitate the execution of the symposium and function
as a connection between the speaker and the audience. Surprisingly,
this role is frequently misunderstood. In fact, most scientists
can testify that they have attended scientific sessions that
were adversely affected by a chair belonging to one of the
Oscar Winner, who has
spoken at conferences and chaired sessions for decades;
speakers have to fit in with his/her performance, and it
is a performance,developed and honed over many years.
Know it All, who is
always ready to impose his/her stamp on any presentation
and demonstrate brilliance by hogging question time.
Unconstrained, who is
oblivious to the clock and is frequently ready to stimulate
irrelevant discussion, which frustrates speakersespecially
the next oneand audiences alike.
Nervous, who starts
twitching five minutes into the lecture, shifts papers to
be ready for the next presentation, and is capable of putting
Technophile, who is
looking forward to any breakdown in the presentation technology
so that he/she can leap up to assist.
Busy Professional, who
arrives a minute before the session starts, is completely
unaware of the session order as well as the gender and the
presence of speakers.
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