By Maeve Luthin, professional development manager
PRIM&R’s 2015 Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) Conference brought over 600 individuals from around the world together, in Boston, MA and online through the Virtual Meeting. Approximately 61% of these attendees provided feedback about the conference by completing evaluations.
Better Off Read: We saw a spike in the number of respondents who rated the educational materials and handouts for this program as either excellent or very good. This appears to be the result of a combination of two factors: a record number of faculty members shared their slide decks and session materials in advance of the program, and PRIM&R disseminated these resources through a new tool: the interactive schedule, which allowed attendees to download this information directly from the online conference schedule.
Agents of Yield: Respondents enthusiastically received the three keynote speakers, all of whom have led groundbreaking research: Darin S. Carroll, who spoke about his research in emerging zoonoses, including research on monkey pox; David K. Meyerholtz, who spoke about using novel animal models to further his research on cystic fibrosis; and Frans B. M. de Waal, who spoke about primate social intelligence. In the future, however, respondents indicated that they would like to see at least one general session address issues related to IACUC administration or research ethics. They also would like to see those who deliver talks involving translational medicine explain the intersection of their work with those of IACUCs.
Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! Respondents appreciated the inclusion of sessions on field studies, even if they do not encounter these protocols on a day-to-day basis. “Wildlife protocols don't often come up, but this highlighted how important it is to have them. Hearing about wildlife crises was scary but the experience was also motivating,” one evaluation respondent noted.
Please Use as Directed: Respondents requested that program titles and descriptors be more indicative of the content that will be presented during the sessions, and include such information as the specific learning level (e.g., beginner, intermediate, advanced), and what regulations will be discussed.
Thank you to everyone who took time to share their thoughts about the conference! This feedback—the rest of the conference evaluation results—will be passed onto the 2016 IACUC Conference Planning Committee. That meeting will be held March 30-April 2 in Bellevue, WA. Remember to share your 2016 program ideas by submitting a poster abstract or through the call for session proposals by October 2, 2015. Learn more here.