Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the discussion on this important topic.

An issue that has been raised more than once is the idea of limiting each attendee to one (or two) first-author abstract submissions, which is the practice for some other conferences. Steve Piazza, immediate past-program chair, was kind enough to pull together the relevant numbers from the recent conference in Boulder. If attendees had been restricted to one first-author abstract there would have been ~70 fewer abstracts, relative to our total of around 800, or a 9% reduction. Only a few people were first author on three or more abstracts, so limiting people to being first author on two abstracts would not have much effect.

If the results from that one meeting generalize, it looks like this could be one of the possible strategies for reducing the total number of presentations, while (likely) not affecting the number of attendees. However, it is not a large enough effect to get us back to a manageable number of presentations to allocate among traditional podium and poster sessions using our historical model for the conference. We will still need creative and effective programming strategies from among those more recently added to the meeting (thematic posters, lighting podiums) and the great ideas that have been put forward in this venue.

As others have noted, the "problem" of the growth of the annual conference is a good problem for us to have as it reflects the growth of biomechanics as a scientific discipline.

Brian

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Brian Umberger, Ph.D.
President-Elect, American Society of Biomechanics
Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology
University of Massachusetts, Amherst