You will have seen the correspondence concerning the prominence of paper presentations in the conference.
Since the announcement of the conference, both the web site and emails have given a consistent picture of the conference, which has three important characteristics. Firstly, this is a conversational conference intended to develop new questions through conversations in groups which come together in plenaries. Secondly, papers and partly formed papers, based on reviewed extended abstracts, are accepted as a valuable counterpoint to the conversation, and are presented where necessary in the evenings. Thirdly, participants are invited to produce full papers after the conference, which are informed by their experience of the event. These papers are subjected to the highest standards of peer review for publication in proceedings.
Recent emails have suggested that this is not the most appropriate format for the conference. We are interested in discussing the role of paper presentations in the conference, but this intervention has come very late, long after the proposed schedule was posted on the site.
We take the published programme as an implied contract. This is reinforced by the expectation of those who have been to other recent ASC conferences, all of which have followed a similar pattern, with positive feedback from participants. Moving the paper presentations to the foreground would undermine the conversational form and the activities that it encourages.
Paper presentations (8 have asked to present) will continue to be on Wednesday evening after dinner (possibly in 2 streams) beginning at 20:00 and ending at 22:00 or 22:30.
We hope this discussion can be used in the ongoing process of developing and improving these conferences, in the wind up and post-conference meeting.
We thank those who raised the topic for offering us this opportunity, and for generating some clear views of difference and future possibility.