Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Annual Sociology Conferences

This past weekend was the annual conferences of both the American Sociological Association (ASA) and the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) and this year it was here in San Francisco, which was great for me since it meant that I didn't have to travel very far. Friday night through Monday night were packed full of meeting with colleagues, attending sessions, and presenting some of my work. The weather was unbelievable for this time of year- sunny and warm (not too hot)- which was great since I did have to walk around all day in between several hotels and other venues.

On Friday night, I went to dinner at Le Colonial (one of my faves) to discuss how to best publicize a book that I have have a co-authored chapter in. I will definitely be advertising it when we have an actual publication date.

Then on Saturday, I attended a 7 am meeting for the medical sociology council of the ASA. This was my 3rd- and sadly last year- of being on the council. It has been an incredible experience providing me with opportunities to connect with famous medical sociologists- and graduate students- that I would not normally have had the chance to. This year is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the medical sociology section and so there were 2 special sessions that day I attended about the contributions. I also was the recipient of three FREE books from the section raffle, one of the benefits of being a graduate student/recent graduate/post-doc/ or junior faculty. You know that you are definitely a nerd when you get excited about receiving free books about your discipline- especially ones that are interesting to you :-) As being part of the council, I helped organize a lunch get together for medical sociology graduate students that day, which was great in that I was able to meet several new colleagues with similar research interests. I also helped organize a special roundtable discussion with two key figures in medical sociology- one was my advisor- for graduate students/recent grads about how they can be able to establish themselves as well as advice for how to cope with this challenging economic situation. I also went to the section reception as well as the section council dinner at Kuletos (it was ok- but I wouldn't go back).

On Sunday, I met up with several of my colleagues from Brandeis for lunch at 'wichcraft and then headed to the SSSP meetings. I was a co-organizer of a session entitled "Gender, Health, Aging and New Body Technologies" and which I also presented a small piece of my dissertation. My talk was entiteld "The Media and the Debate about the 'Safety' of Silicone Breast Implants" while the others discussed surgical vs natural aging as well as when to disclose to children about possible genetic markers. The SSSP meetings were held at the Stanford Court Hotel which is perched up ontop of one of the hills and we were up on the 6th floor and actually had natural light flowing into our room, not to mention INCREDIBLE views. Here is the bay and the TransAmerica pyramid

And of the downtown Union Square area

And of the rooftop garden of this apartment building. Isn't this amazing- I love the spires intermixed with the greenery.

I then went to a dinner party reunion of the people that I met last year at the US/UK medical sociology conference. Its nice to be able to hear updates upon the research and activities of these friends. And I can now identify the mission district of SF (I'm still trying to learn all of the areas).

On Monday, I attended a lecture about Community Based Participatory Action research and ways to get grant funding for these projects. I am currently assisting an organizing trying to access these funds. I then went to lunch with another Brandeis colleague and a former Brandeis colleague. We ate at this little Thai place in Union Square that finally had a type of pad thai that I liked (the style in the bay area is different from the ones in other places) but I don't remember the name of the place but it was right off Powell street near the Hilton Hotel. I then was a discussant at a roundtable for an author-meets-critic session about the book "Disciplining Statistics" about how statistics was establised as a discipline in France and England during the 1800s. I then got together with two other Brandeis colleagues- Ken and Jill- for some Beard Papa's cream puffs- and conversation. Then, I attend a great lecture on how to manage my online profile and increase awareness about my research.

Overall, both conferences went well and I made some great connections and has helped me to be able to somewhat integrate into the sociology community :-)

1 comment:

Petertammenson said...

Bravo! I love hearing about your academic stuff - and of course knowing that you're just as successful with your work as we all suspected you would be freshman year!