There seems to be general agreement among those to whom I’ve spoken, or who’re on Twitter, that this years IAB in Rotterdam was one of the best, if not the best. Granted, the parallel sessions were very short – there’s not much you can do in 8 minutes – but the organisation was superb, and the range of plenary speakers excellent. Solly Benatar is always worth hearing; and though Aubrey de Grey is – in my opinion – mad as a box of frogs when he’s on about aging, I could happily listen to him speak all day: he’s excellent.
And there was no magic dancing. There was a bit of magic in the opening ceremony, and some perplexing dancing in the closing one… but no magic dancing. Actually, there’s a part of me that regrets that a bit. I did try to play the game where you try to work out and attend the really bad paper that got selected by accident – but I didn’t notice anything that came close to that. The quality of the parallel papers was high. Ditto the posters: I confess that I don’t really understand how poster sessions are supposed to work for ethics and law; but I liked the way they were thematised and treated as stimuli for mini-oral presentations.
For me, John Coggon’s paper at the “nudge” symposium was the best of the conference – and that’s not incestuous promotion of Manchester people, because he’s buggering off to Southampton. I’d like to have seen Stephen Latham’s paper on political theory, too: I was elsewhere, but Christian Munthe was doing a fine job of live-tweeting everything he saw.
What were other people’s thoughts? Do say in the comments.
In the meantime, we’ve already opened the #IAB2014 hashtag on twitter. Mexico, here we come.