Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Professional Community: GDC vs. LPSC Part II

If you follow Laundry Sessions, another blog for which I write, you'll have seen my comments on gender-distribution at the two (very different) conferences that I've attended over the past two weeks. Another, more personal, contrast has become evident. Both conferences are "professional" conferences. The GDC provides an annual meeting for game developers, while LPSC serves to unite planetary scientists. I happened to be fortunate enough to present at both, and while I've enjoyed myself immensely, I certainly feel more at home in one of the communities than in the other.

[Aside] If you're my boss: don't worry about me leaving anytime soon. [/Aside] That said, I have to say that I feel much more a part of the game development community. Maybe it's because I have many more friends in games. Maybe it's because I'm not a planetary scientist, although I'm not really a game developer either. Maybe it's just because I went to this year's GDC before attending LPSC, and I'm just plain worn out. But in any case, I feel like an outsider in the space science community. I've barely understood the talks I've attended. I haven't recognized a single person at the parties I've attended. I don't feel like I have that much to offer to planetary science.

I do like doing education and public outreach, which is why I'm involved with LPSC in the first place, so for now, that will keep me going. However, I'm going to keep this feeling in mind as my career unfolds...


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