“The chilling effect of the glacial pace of publishing extends further to scientific conferences. Participants are afraid to talk about unpublished work, as they have no way of knowing at the time of abstract submission if the work will be safely in press by the time of the meeting. This leads to many meetings at which the majority of participants are silent about their accumulated unpublished data. This means that we all travel thousands of miles to get together for 4 days to listen to each other present out-of-date published work. We may as well stay home instead, play with our children, and spare the environment the carbon released into the atmosphere. ”
. She also includes a list of recommendations to fix it, but as Michael Eisen says in his blog post on this subject, they are of the “Mend it, don’t end it” variety. He advocates that we go much further and end the system altogether.