In their recent article for The Guardian, Julian Kircherr and Asit Biswas posit the important point that the costs of attending contemporary academic conferences have dramatically increased, to the detriment and exclusion of early-career researchers. Many researchers “who manage to attend academic conferences,” Kircherr and Biswas write, “expect many benefits. They hope to find their next collaborators. They hope to broaden their horizons to develop new research ideas.” The author’s experiences, however, suggest otherwise: “…conferences usually do not deliver on these promises. There are always the same old faces, with a few more wrinkles every year, using obfuscating jargon to present the same old stuff.”
In the article, Kircherr and Biswas raise important, fascinating points about the politics of the academic conference industry and the struggles early-career researchers endure in their attempts to enter various fields of inquiry. You can read their full article here.