SfN07: The schmoozery

November 5, 2007

Can’t let BM have all the SfN fun, now can we? I discussed scientific meeting schmoozing before. By the middle of the SfN meeting I see that I’ve had substantive chats with four relevant program officers and brief exchanges with two more. Two of the former got down to some nitty gritty over science in one case and science funding (yes, beyond “waaah, there’s no money”) in another. This is basically without trying although I did swing through the NIH booths at one point.

Why have I spoken with so many? Well because some are current or prior POs for my grants, some are POs trying to hook me scientifically and some are prior colleagues turned PO. A nice little diverse set of relationships, all valuable and worth maintaining. I didn’t find out much new from them as there didn’t seem to be any new and relevant initiatives coming. Except for the one PO who was trying to get me interested in a renewed effort for which I might seem an appropriate target applicant.

Autism is heating up. Congress passed some special autism funding which Bush is threatening to veto (as part of a more general threat). But make no bones about it, this will become one of those “Congressional directives” to the NIH about where to spend its money. Being a political entity, the NIH is scrambling to respond/prepare. Get your “relevance to Autism” motor runnin’ folks.

SIV and Drug Abuse is still a focus for NIDA. They don’t seem happy with the size of their portfolio or applicant pool or some such. They continue to chum the water.

The LinkedIn hits are coming quicker this week as people think networking. Nobody invited you yet? Shame, that…

My BigPharma friends are happier after an earlier part of the year that saw much disruption. Apparently things are settling down for now.

Seems to be a lower US to NonUS ratio in comparison with prior years, going by the Babel of the poster sessions. Weak dollar makes a SD junket more attractive? Increased globalization of science? A strengthening of science funding outside the US? who knows…

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