FSD Bulletin

Issue 26 (1/2009)

ISSN 1795-5262

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FSD Bulletin is the electronic newsletter of the Finnish Social Science Data Archive. The Bulletin provides information and news related to the data archive and social science research.


Finnish Social Science Data Archive
E-mail: fsd@tuni.fi

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Science from Eye to Eye

Sami Borg

It requires skill to organise scientific seminars and conferences. There is plenty of tacit knowledge and strange "Finglish" in the field. Many will thank you, if the time, location, target group, themes, speakers, presentations, discussion, structure of the programme, provisioning, transport connections, and marketing all fall into place. Well done. On the other hand, even a single failure can label the organisers as losers.

The FSD has organised several seminars on its own, and the organisation of a large-scale international conference is now also at hand. IASSIST 2009 will gather a few hundred data service professionals from all over the world to Tampere in the end of May. Thanks to Mari, Tuomas and Katri, who constitute the Data Archive's Local Arrangements Committee. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the conference is steadily drawing closer.

The FSD has also more and more frequently organised seminars together with other organisations. The co-operation increases expertise, brings new contacts, enables sharing of preparatory tasks, and familiarises the organisers working on similar issues with each other. It is also easier to get the desired speakers on the move through co-operation – it is hard to say "no" to a familiar person. In addition, joint efforts increase the number of seminar participants.

The availability of seminar presentations, both before and after the seminars, has improved a lot since the print era. People absent from seminars can follow them with the help of PowerPoint slideshows, and presentations are easy to distribute online. Seminar descriptions, which also this issue of Tietoarkisto contains, add extra flavour to science communications.

Some may think that nowadays the availability of information from various seminars and conferences is so good that one does not have to bother to physically participate in them at all. That is nonsense! It is not possible to fully replicate a good seminar over the Internet, one has to experience it oneself. It is science from eye to eye, from human to human.