How to (not) use laptops and phones at scientific talks?

by Martin Monperrus

During scientific talks, one sees many people not following the talks but looking at their screens (laptop, tablet, phone, etc). Is that good or bad?

Good reasons

There are excellent reasons to keep a laptop or a phone open during a scientific talks, in particular all those activities that are directly related to the talk:

See many other reasons in Phones and Laptops at Conferences: Friends or Enemies?

Bad reasons

There are many cases when using a laptop or phone signals one problem

The science

Studying the pros and cons of using laptops and phones during scientific talks can be scientifically studied. Selection of papers from New Times Times review made in 2017:

Conclusion: find a proper usage of your electronic devices

Remember the three last talks you attended, did you have your laptop open or close? Was is for a good reason? for a bad reason? What's your conclusion?

Finally, I would like to encourage you to close your devices for three other reasons:

--Martin Monperrus
November 2019

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