As a Bioinformatician working in the area of RNA biology, I am grateful for being awarded the ACM-W scholarship to attend the 15th Annual RNA Society Meeting. The RNA Society Meeting is considered to be the most comprehensive conference on RNA research. This year there were over 100 talks and over 500 posters. From the plenary talks given by leaders in the field, I gained new insight on current research of many aspects of RNA research, something that would be difficult to obtain from a less comprehensive conference. All of this information stimulated new ideas, discussions and potential alternative approaches for my own projects.
Presenting a poster at this conference benefited me in many ways. It gave me experience describing computer algorithms and methods to biologists. I discovered that the biologists were interested in how the algorithms worked and providing more explanation on my poster would have been useful. Other scientists approached me at my poster and we set up a dialogue to form collaborations.
This conference had interesting aspects, such as a banquet with a talk about hidden biases we might not think we have, such as associating men with science and women with humanities. Although we might not think that we are biased, there are tests that can indicate that we do. There was also a dance at the end of the meeting!
I am truly appreciative of being awarded the ACM-W scholarship to fund my expenses to attend this conference.
Student at University of California, Santa Cruz
Attended 15th Annual Meeting of the RNA Society