Posted by: thediygeochemist | March 21, 2011

a first

Today I submitted my very first abstract to a meeting organizer. I hope it gets accepted.

My (or should I say Dr. Hand-Waver’s?) work is a bit unique, so it was hard trying to find a meeting session that fit our topic; the one we picked was as close as we were going to get, but was still a bit of a stretch.

Writing the abstract was pretty darn hard because we don’t really have publishable results yet. That’s not to say that we don’t have results; due to my efforts in lab, I am 99.99% positive that X happens under Y conditions, and that factors A, B, and C influence the outcome. But I’m only about 25% positive that the numbers I’ve calculated represent the actual truth. Our methodology is so finicky that it’s hard to get it to work, which means that reproducing numbers is tricky at best. Besides, there are always a minimum of 10,768 variables involved in any experiment dealing with natural systems so reproducibility is always tough in my field.

My job for in the next five or so months is to firm up the numbers and get results that people can trust.



  1. I’m in a similar position with my research. You can do it! We can do it!

  2. Hey, congrats on getting over that first–and perhaps biggest–hurdle. Just getting up the nerve to submit and prep yourself for the outcome is half the task.

    I just delivered my first presentation at a national conference last week. It was a qualitative study. The findings are not quite publishable yet, but I was confident enough in the data to go ahead and present. A very well-known social scientist from Tufts attended my session, and she offered some amazingly helpful feedback.

    You’ll be fine.

    Best wishes.

  3. […] My abstract was accepted! Originally I had been planning to do a poster, but about 2 days before we submitted […]

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