Most scientific societies have a conference every year or two. A chance to meet other scientists with similar research interests, hype your work, hear them hype their work, network and generally schmooze. This year the two big meetings most likely to draw American behavorists, the International Society for BehaviorAL Ecology, and the Animal Behavior Society, are almost overlapping. ISBE is, as the name implies, international, and have their meetings only every other year. Now they are having their meeting in Ithaca, at Cornell too good a chance for most American behaviorists to pass up. ABS is having their meeting a few days later at an overpriced resort in the mountains above Salt Lake City. A beautiful spot, to be sure, but not enough to convince many people who have just sat through a week of behavior talks to fly west and sit for another week. ISBE will have about three times as many attendants as ABS.
I am going to ABS, rather than ISBE, because it is easier to get to from here, because ISBE had their deadline for submission of abstracts before I got my act together, and because ABS is supposed to be more student friendly. I'm staying at a very affordable campsite some thousands of feet above the resort, and giving what I suspect will be the only philosophical talk of the meeting. I am not sure whether the ABS meeting will be more fun or less for being so much smaller than ISBE, but I shall try to liveblog the whole thing.