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Meet an Organizer: Scott Keeney, PhD

Scott Keeney, PhD, co-organizer of the Genetic Recombination and Genome Rearrangement Conference in July 2019, believes Science Research Conferences (SRCs) are a great opportunity for researchers to get critical feedback and make important connections.

“I prefer a small, focused meeting where everybody is concentrated on the science,” says Keeney, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and a professor in the Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. “With the FASEB meetings, you’re intensely immersed in a focused area for several days.”

Keeney notes that SRCs allow scientists to present their work in a private forum, opening the door to intellectual debate and much-appreciated feedback.

“You get useful feedback on your research, and you can hone it,” says Keeney. “I come away from meetings like ours with ideas for how to do new experiments and to consider new approaches. A lot of collaborations begin there.”

Keeney, whose SRC exceeded its registration goals, was featured in the June 2019 SRC Organizer Newsletter for his social media prowess. He believes organizers should use social media to promote their conferences through the registration period.

“My Twitter feed is a mix of science and politics. I learn about papers in my field and follow people in my field and related fields. I know a lot of people are not active on social media, but there are lots of students and post-docs who are likely on Twitter," says Keeney. "It's an inexpensive way, i.e., free, to let your friends and colleagues know about your conference."       

He used the FASEB-branded social media graphics and his own inspiration to highlight his SRC, including a tweet showing a unicorn popper. And what makes the unicorn popper special? Keeney says the popper is legendary among SRC attendees because he uses it on speakers if they go over their presentation time limit.

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