How Convention Centers Are Killing Academic Culture

How Convention Centers Are Killing Academic Culture

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Setting annual meetings in massive convention centers, plus the cumulative effect of well-intentioned policies for promoting young academics, have effectively sabotaged the intergenerational culture essential for a rich sense of intellectual identity.

Because of the physical restraints they impose, convention centers have conspired to stifle the informal gatherings that have always been one of the better reasons for attending the big meetings. Hotel bars and lobbies were great equalizers of rank and status, but also where experience and accomplishment had their part to play. In fact, they were “salons.” They formed institutional memory. They made us all part of a longer conversation that reached from the very young to the very old.

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