Presenter Instructions 2018

May 13, 2018 by Matthew J. Brown

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General Information and Expectations

The program, registration information, travel and hotel information are posted on the conference website: Transportation will be arranged to and from campus from the conference hotels each day.

Presenters are encouraged and expected to attend the entire conference, to participate in many of the sessions, and to pay other presenters the courtesies that they wish to be paid. VMST is a intimately-sized conference that is focused on participation and interaction. Frequent, longish breaks are spaced throughout the day, in order to continue the conversations of the sessions in a more informal fashion.

Lunch will be provided each day, coffee and light snacks during breaks and before the first session of the day. A reception with heavy appetizers will be served on Friday after the keynote, and we will have a conference dinner on Saturday.

The Racism workshop will take place in in the Erik Jonsson Academic Center (JO) room 4.614. The Feyerabend 2018 Workshop and the rest of the conference will take place in the Naveen Jindal School Of Management (JSOM) Executive Education Center.

Any questions about the conference program or intellectual activities should be directed at Matthew J. Brown. Questions about logistics should be emailed to Magdalena Grohman.

Session Formats

VMST Papers Sessions

Most sessions will be regular papers sessions, which will have 2-3 presenters and be organized on a shared theme. Each presenter will have 20 minutes to present their work, and Q&A will be held at the end of the session for the entire panel. (Presenters who finish before their allotted 20 minutes can use the balance of their time for a quick question or two). Session chairs and audience members are asked to work together to ensure that all presenters are included in the discussion.

A/V will be provided in the session room. Please coordinate with the session chair in the break before your session to get your A/V in order. We recommend you bring your presentation as a PowerPoint or PDF on a USB drive. It may also be possible to hook up a computer or laptop to the A/V equipment using VGA or HDMI.

Lightning Talks

The goal of a lightning talk is to introduce the audience to your ideas or your research with the aim not of giving a full argument but of sparking conversations afterward. The lightning talk session will be followed immediately by lunch, where the speakers will be encouraged to sit separately and discuss their work with those who join them at their table.

Lightning talks will be on a strict schedule of 5 minutes per talk and 30 seconds between talks. Presentations will proceed in the order found in the final program. The speakers should be ready to transition as the talk before theirs comes to a close.

The timing of the session will be governed by an automatically advancing slide show. Presenters who wish to use slides should send their slides in ahead of time (by May 14), preferably in PPT format or as images. (I can probably convert PDF or Keynote, but I’m less confident that the formatting will work out, and it will be more labor intensive.) Your options for slides are as follows:

  1. Zero slides – A title card with your name and talk title will display for the full five minutes.
  2. One slide – will display for the full five minutes.
  3. Five slides – One minute per slide.
  4. 10 slides – 30 seconds per slide.

We cannot accommodate custom timing requests.


This session is focused on feedback to graduate students working on their dissertations. Dissertations-in-Progress session participants should provide the conference organizer with a revised 1-2 page informational document by May 10, based on the information sheet that was provided with their submission, focusing on the topic, thesis, structure, and progress of the dissertation project. These sheets will be distributed ahead of time and printed in the conference booklet. All conference attendees are asked to read these documents ahead of time.

During the session itself, session participants are asked to give a ~5 minute overview of their project (this can go quickly, since participants will also have read their informational sheet). We will spend ~20 minutes giving feedback to each participant, and another 10 minutes of general discussion at the end of the session.

Feyerabend Workshop Talks

Feyerabend workshop talks will be 35-40 minutes long, with 15-20 minutes Q&A after the talk (55 minutes total).

Racism Workshop Talks

Talks for the workshop on Racism and the Disciplinary Differentiation of Science and Philosophy are scheduled for 45 minutes each, and left up to the presenter how to split that time between talk and Q&A (e.g., 25-20, 30-15, 35-10).

VMST Conference Aims, Values, and Norms


By registering to participate in the VMST annual conference, you agree to take active responsibility to promote the aims, values, and norms described below. You agree to refrain from conduct that is disruptive, destructive, or otherwise threatens the ability of attendees to participate as equals.

Aims of the Conference

The Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology and the associated VMST Conference promote academic work that positively impacts society. These positive impacts require security, trust, respect, collaboration, and solidarity, both within our academic communities and when interacting with other professionals, policymakers, and other public groups.

Participation as Equals

This conference is a space in which academics come together and participate as equals; this requires physical and emotional security in one’s person and possessions and camaraderie in one’s interactions. Some groups have historically been denied opportunities to participate as equals in academic communities, while other groups have historically held privileged positions. All participants in the conference are called to be reflective about their social position and power relations within the community, as well as how their behavior may threaten the ability of others to participate as equals.

Norms of Behavior at the Conference

Within the VMST Community, some well-established norms of behavior include:

  • actively encouraging the participation of members of marginalized and oppressed groups,
  • actively learning from unfamiliar intellectual and social perspectives,
  • posing comments and questions constructively rather than destructively,
  • making amends for harmful, offensive, or destructive behavior.

These norms are closely tied to the ability of all to participate as equals. We believe that talking about our community’s norms explicitly can help new members and guests integrate more smoothly and reflectively, and that this promotes their ability to participate as equals.

Inappropriate Behavior

Inappropriate behavior is any behavior that is incompatible with the aims, values, and norms characterized above. Specific examples of inappropriate behavior include dominating discussion; harassment, badgering, or verbal threats; physical or emotional assault; theft; and destruction of property.

Sexual harassment is a well-documented problem in many academic fields. Sexual harassment threatens the ability of not just the target to participate in the annual conference as an equal, but also many other conference attendees, and is therefore extremely inappropriate.

Many people find the mere possession of weapons threatening and disruptive. Community members and visitors who own weapons are strongly encouraged to leave their weapons at home, or securely store them in their vehicles or lodgings.

Not all inappropriate behavior is criminal, and not all criminal behavior is best handled by law enforcement. When inappropriate behavior is occurring, the highest priorities are to stop the behavior and prevent it from having harmful or disruptive effects. The organizers reserve the right to limit or deny participation in the conference to individuals whose behavior is inappropriate.

The conference organizers have designated ombuds for the conference, who can receive confidential reports of inappropriate behavior and work with the organizers to determine appropriate responses. The ombuds names will be listed in the program, and they will be identified to the attendees in the Welcoming session. They can also be reached by email at [email protected].


This statement of aims, values, and norms was drafted by Dan Hicks, with constructive feedback from Carla Fehr, Claudia Murphy, Anjan Chakravartty, and Matthew J. Brown and initial input from Janet Stemwedel. The VMST Conference is allied with the Consortium on Socially Relevant Philosophy of/in Science and Engineering (SRPoiSE).

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