[APG Public List] National Genealogical Meetings

Suzanne Johnston suemj at verizon.net
Mon Oct 5 04:30:48 MDT 2009


You are correct. I didn't stop to think that speakers in the conferences 
I had attended were not paid. They were there to present their topics 
and have them critiqued, usually prior to publication. But they were 
still interesting.

However, I do disagree with your thoughts on problem-solving lectures. I 
would attend the type of lecture you describe and I think there are 
others who would do the same. New ideas should be tried at national 
conferences. One or two of this type of presentation could be done for 
one or two years; if they all fall flat, they would be discontinued. How 
can anyone predict attendance for this type of lecture without trying it 
at least once? Don't we read the NSG Quarterly, or TAG, or TG, or NEHGR, 
even when the article doesn't discuss our geographic area of interest or 
our family?


Carolyn Earle Billingsley wrote:
> *I've spent many years of my life attending and presenting at history 
> conferences. There are always three or four presenters in an hour and 
> 15 minutes session. They read an abbreviated version of their longer 
> research paper, which may or may not become a longer journal article 
> in the future.
> But these presenters are NOT paid; are not reimbursed for any 
> expenses; and in fact, their conference entry fees are not even paid.
> Also, someone suggested more lectures on problem-solving. I wonder if 
> I gave a lecture entirely composed of why I had a problem knowing if 
> three German Wittenberg brothers were really brothers and the sons of 
> both parents and how I solved the problem with DNA and in-depth 
> genealogical research over one hundred years after the birth of these 
> sons?
> It seems to me that such a specific problem-solving lecture would have 
> few participants. You probably wouldn't come unless you were 
> interested in the specific problem solved, would you? Can national 
> conferences afford to present topics with only ten people in the audience?
> *
> Suzanne Johnston wrote:
>> Although many of the instructional lectures use problem-solving within 
>> the presentation, it would certainly be interesting to have a track at 
>> national conferences that is totally devoted to interesting and unusual 
>> case studies and/or the use of unusual resources to solve a particular 
>> problem.
>> jfonkert at aol.com wrote:
>>> I've only been to a handful of national conferences, but I've perused 
>>> the program of several others over the past 4-5 years.  From what I 
>>> see on the programs, it would appear to me the conferences are of a 
>>> quite different nature than academic or professional conferences it 
>>> other fields.  The national genealogy conference programs do seem 
>>> geared toward reporting research or new developments.  Rather, the 
>>> programs seem to have the same core cluster of topics year after year 
>>> (not a terrible thing, necessarily, as the conferences move around to 
>>> different regional audiences).  The programs are heavy on 
>>> instructional topics (record types, methodology, technology -- again 
>>> not inappropriate), but do not seem geared toward talks that report 
>>> research or developments.  Personally, I would like to see more 
>>> research-based talks that demonstrate problem-solving techniques.  I 
>>> can read about census records or passenger records on my own, but I'd 
>>> like to hear about how people solve interesting problems.
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