Open letter from a nursing scientist

[Initially published on Nov 5, 2016]

Dear conference organisers,

My daughter is a frequent traveller, because I take her anywhere I go. Little L has attended a couple of conferences now, and she enjoys it.

She has attended the ASLO Ocean Science Meeting (OSM) 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA earlier this year. It was an interesting conference, as expected, but of course HUGE. It is so easy to get lost in science if you are not used to such a big conference. But of course my little monkey, even at only 4 months old, managed perfectly.​

Me and little L (4 months old) by my poster at ASLO OSM 2016, New Orleans (I know, too much text in my poster and I HATE too much text!)

She and dad strolled around the city like crazy, and then they would meet me for lunch - I was very happy to have them there, specially during the poster session (I had one poster myself). 

The facilities for parents were ok. There was even a “day care/nanny” service provided. I didn’t need to use it, because I had my own special nanny (daddy), but it will be very useful in other conferences, for sure. The only down side of the ASLO OSM 2016 was the nursing room. Well, I don’t mind nursing anytime nor anywhere, but to be able to express milk I need a plug. Here are my complaints:

1. no one seemed to know where such room was. I only managed to find it out after talking to several people;

2. the location of the room was not ideal. It was so far away from the main entrance, the main conference rooms and the overall activities, that I had to take at least 10 min to get there (if I didn’t get lost on the way).

On the other hand, the second conference little L attended had much better conditions. This was the MASTS Annual Science Meeting (ASM) 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. The room was right next to the posters area, near the entrance and easy to find (with a proper sign!!!). I of course lost much less talks whenever I needed to express the golden liquid.

I acknowledge that MASTS ASM is much smaller than ASLO OSM, but still… I am sure I am not the only nursing mom in science, right? We are planning a few more trips for 2017, and I will bring little L along, of course. So, PLEASE, conference organisers, don’t forget us, ok? =)

Yours sincerely,

Sofia - a nursing scientist

Me and little L hanging out in New Orleans.

Little L completely jet-lagged in New Orleans.

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