From the 25th to 30th November 2018, I attended the Boston Materials Research Society conference Fall Meeting. The conference is one of the largest materials conferences in the world, with 6650 attendees from more than 55 countries. The size of the meeting can be complicated to navigate, but there isn’t a better opportunity to get a general feel for what the worldwide research community is focusing on.
One of my personal highlights was the career-focussed symposia. These sessions provided an interesting array of perspectives on careers in materials both inside and outside academia. Most were panel sessions, with panels composed of the recently hired and the hiring committee leaders. Insight into where to focus efforts and how to navigate the hiring process were available. From these, combined with other career-focussed events, the MRS places an emphasis on helping their members manage their careers.
The poster sessions were also impressive. Thousands of posters were available to check, and this always gives the chance to, at a glance, get the impression of what fields are being worked on. They are also superbly catered, which always helps attendance.