Broken ice

Click for the latest newsUntil today, I was an SEG virgin; I can now see what all the fuss is about.

The SEG Annual Meeting is big. Massive. And it feels important, or at least significant. It is clear that exploration geophysics lives here. Every step takes you past something cool... there's FairfieldNodal's seismic node exhibit, and here's Transform Software's stained-glass-window spectral display. And every other step is like flicking through an issue of Geophysics... there's Sergey Fomel, here's Öz Yilmaz. Although I know only a few people here, I have a stong feeling of familiarity and belonging. I like it. No: I love it.

I taught my writing course this morning. It was the smallest course in the world, with a grand total of three students of the written word. Fortunately, they turned out to be wonderful company, and taught me at least twice as much as I taught them. We spent much of the morning talking about new directions in science writing, openness in industry and academia, and the competition for attention. The SEG showed considerable faith in me and my subject matter in offering this course, because it has faltered before over the years. But clearly something needs to change if we agree to offer it again... It seems that honing soft skills is not what people are looking for. Perhaps a course like mine is better suited to online consumption in bite-size webcasts. Or maybe I just needed more elliptic partial differential equations.

What do you think of courses like this? Too fluffy? Too long? Too boring?

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