Why not have a "future of the field" session at a conference with only young speakers?

I’m in the process of trying to get together a couple of sessions to submit to ENAR 2014. I’m pretty psyched about the topics and am looking forward to hosting the conference in Baltimore. It is pretty awesome to have one of the bigger stats conferences on our home turf and we are going to try to be well represented at the conference.

While putting the sessions together I’ve been thinking about what are my favorite characteristics of sessions at stats conferences. Alyssa has a few suggestions for speakers which I’m completely in agreement with, but I’m talking about whole sessions. Since statistics is often concerned primarily with precision/accuracy the talks tend to be a little bit technical and sometimes dry. Even on topics I really am excited about, people try not to exaggerate. I think overall this is a great quality, but I’d [I’m in the process of trying to get together a couple of sessions to submit to ENAR 2014. I’m pretty psyched about the topics and am looking forward to hosting the conference in Baltimore. It is pretty awesome to have one of the bigger stats conferences on our home turf and we are going to try to be well represented at the conference.

While putting the sessions together I’ve been thinking about what are my favorite characteristics of sessions at stats conferences. Alyssa has a few suggestions for speakers which I’m completely in agreement with, but I’m talking about whole sessions. Since statistics is often concerned primarily with precision/accuracy the talks tend to be a little bit technical and sometimes dry. Even on topics I really am excited about, people try not to exaggerate. I think overall this is a great quality, but I’d](http://www.hilarymason.com/speaking/speaking-entertain-dont-teach/) at a conference. I realized that one of my favorite kind of sessions is the “future of statistics” session.

My only problem is that future of the field talks are always given by luminaries who have a lot of experience. This isn’t surprising, since (1) they are famous and their names are a big draw, (2) they have made lots of interesting/unique contributions, and (3) they are established so they don’t have to worry about being a little imprecise.

But I’d love to see a “future of the field” session with only people who are students/postdocs/first year assistant professors. These are the people who will really be the future of the field and are often more on top of new trends. It would be so cool to see four or five of the most creative young people in the field making bold predictions about where we will go as a discipline. Then you could have one senior person discuss the talks and give some perspective on how realistic the visions would be in light of past experience.

Tell me that wouldn’t be an awesome conference session.

 

 
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