Friday, December 10, 2010

Research Symposium at NSA in July2011

A reader has pointed me to the up-coming research symposium at the NSA conference beginning of July.

Here is a list of the speakers:

Gayle Beck, Ph.D. – University of Memphis (keynote speaker)
Deryk S. Beal, Ph.D – Boston University
Courtney Byrd, Ph.D. – University of Texas
Dennis Drayna, Ph.D. – National Institutes of Health
Jennifer Kleinow, Ph.D. – LaSalle University
Gerald A. Maguire, M.D. – University of California, Irvine School of Medicine
Walt Manning, Ph.D. – University of Memphis
Laura Plexico, Ph.D. – Auburn University
Nan Bernstein Ratner, Ed.D. - University of Maryland
Jennifer Watson, Ph.D – Texas Christian University
Mandy Hampton Wray, M.S. (doctoral candidate) - Purdue University
Scott Yaruss, Ph.D. – University of Pittsburgh

I know a few of them. I have never heard of others. The key speaker seems to be a psychotherapist. Ask yourself why these have been invited but not others? How do we know that these are the brains? Or are they just the best adapters conforming to the US academic landscape? For example, I would bet that Mandy who is a doctoral candidate and who I don't know is on the list because she has some relationship with the organizers. Just a guess. Not saying she is bad, but there are so many doctoral candidates.

My first impression is that each is speaking about their own research. I hope they have a structure in place for cross-disciplinary debates.

The reader also asked whether I will be there. The answer is: NO. I don't know the organizers which is nearly a requirement if you want to be invited as an non-academic. They probably consider me a kind of crackpot or eager amateur until they debate with me. And they want to keep the quality level high. Second, from those academics who know me, some don't want to have me, because I ask lots of annoying questions and commit faux-pas. Some don't want to have me, because I have publicly criticized their work. Some don't want me, because I have not behaved as they wish I should have behaved and so don't want to support an invitation.


sachin said...

Hi Tom
Whether academics invite you or not- your blog makes a lot of sense to me. Your no-nonsense attitude to academics, researchers and others who may have had some success in helping some PWS, and based on which they propose a theory- has a relevance to the stammering scene.
Keep up the good work. But dont forget to wish them all season's greetings!

Anonymous said...

The keynote speaker does psychotherapy. Maybe you would benefit from some psychoanalysis...

Did Mark Onslow steal your lunch money? Or is he choosing to ignore you making you more pissed off?

mandy, student at purdue, is from texas.she must be using this as opportunity to travel and visit families, relatives, lovers.

since the conference is in texas.waste of money, money not from her pocket.A free trip for or pleasure, pleasure for her.don't you also have a PHD?
Sour grapes....

Thought you were friends on skype with Beal? Or not....

Will you be at Oxford dysfluency Conference then? What are you doing there? Besides asking statistical questions?

John E said...

Tom, maybe you were not invited because you are
(1) not a scientist
(2) not involved in a useful way in the stuttering community other than having this blog where you criticise others, often for no good reason than that you just like to argue
(3) are a irritating and annoying conversationlist where you verbally attack the other person if they do not agree with your point of view

I'm sure there are lots of other reasons why you are not invited to such events, and why no respecting authority wants to associate with you, but you probably know that already.

Merry Christmas!

Tom Weidig said...

Oh God. Why can't people just put real arguments?

@John E:

I am a scientist. I have a PhD in physics, was a post-doc, and a visiting scholar at Cambridge. And I was top universities like Imperial College and Trinity College in Cambridge.

But I am not academic.

Anonymous said...

May be all these scientists are doing research unlike you who do only theoretical research.
Tom, why don't you delete some stupid comments from some anonymous which provoke and distract you?

John E said...

Tom said "Oh God. Why can't people just put real arguments?"

You mean real arguements like your comment.....

"For example, I would bet that Mandy who is a doctoral candidate and who I don't know is on the list because she has some relationship with the organizers. Just a guess."

Yes, that a really logical and scientific point you mad there Tom.

And many of us have been to Cambridge or Imperial College, so move on. You're not a scientist - maybe once upon a time you were, but you couldn't last in that field so you hanged careers.....stop banging on about something at which you have failed.

Misnomer said...

@ John E
Have you any personal problem with Tom? Why are you annoying him?

Anonymous #4 said...

The reader also asked whether I will be there. The answer is: NO. I don't know the organizers which is nearly a requirement if you want to be invited as an non-academic.

You mean you haven't been invited as a presenter, right? But you could attend as a participant, and presumably anyone can participate in the Q&A and the discussions, as well as the informal discussions before and after and in the hallways.

Anonymous said...

You're not a scientist - maybe once upon a time you were, but you couldn't last in that field so you hanged careers.....stop banging on about something at which you have failed.

Who says Tom failed?? Maybe he wanted to make some money. Using his physics and mathematics background to go into finance seems like a pretty savvy career move.

Anonymous said...

Tom should delete posts which have nothing to do with his topics or stuttering. They are a distraction to those of us who read this blog in the interest of learning more about stuttering.

Also, how about the regulars here register and start posting under a consistent name? It doesn't need to a real name; a made up handle is fine. The discussions are difficult to follow with anon after anon.

I am going to register now!

Tom Weidig said...

@Last anonym:

I agree that I should delete those completely off topic.

No anonyms would be best, but then maybe less people will post??

Dunk said...

To be an "expert researcher" in the NSA, a "researcher" must get hooked up tight with the Reeves. That is the ONLY way AND the ONLY requirement. (C'mon Lee and Nina -admit it - you know this is true. Only members of your posse that pay homage are regarded as "experts".)

Tru Dat.

Tom - are you debating Shenker at Oxford? Is the Oxford Conference going to pop for you to debate Shenker and Bodenhamer? The Stuttering World wants to know!

Anonymous said...

The NSA conference is a joke as far as symposiums and workshops goes, and it is definitely biased as to who is involved in the "in" crowd. I go every year because of the social aspect of it, hanging out with 600 PWS, having a great time!

Anonymous said...

who are the "in" crowd people?

Is the NSA a dictatorship? Run by Nina the SLP and Lee the Vet??

(driven by money)

Tom Weidig said...

I don't believe that they are motivated by money. But they do what they believe is the best.

But of course they are also the people who are shaping the landscape. If they get it wrong, we all suffer.

Nan Ratner said...

I am both dispirited and appalled at many of the threads in this discussion, which I note you corrected after I pointed out the conference was this coming summer, not 2010.

I know only a little about the conference (and yes, it will not take much to figure out that I am an invited speaker), but the intent was to gather the next generation of researchers (that’s why they are not well-known and are NOT doing this to visit relatives), and to engage the model, pioneered by Division 4 of ASHA, to have talks followed by extensive breakout discussion among presenters and attendees to try to energize the next wave of research in stuttering.

I am not known for bluntness, but I WILL be blunt: the next wave of important discoveries to help PWS will come from academia. This thread does a disservice by its mean-spirited attacks on how conferences in this area are arranged – they are designed not to visit families or even pay the way of invited speakers OR to disenfranchise certain folks who hoped for an invite) but to engender discussion and interaction among the researchers who have dedicated their careers to helping PWS. The maligned keynote speaker is a colleague and co-worker of one of the world’s (simultaneously) most respected clinicians, writers and researchers in our field - who is also a PWS. The advances that will come in understanding the causes and best treatment of stuttering will come from the young researchers you malign in this nasty interchange, and academics will also be in charge of transferring this knowledge to practice as they train future generations of clinicians. Denigrating the motivations and insight of this group is very short-sighted in addition to being malicious.

I had been recommending this blog site to my graduate students in fluency because it and its sponsor have made many good and formative points that can help us in our quest to help PWS and their families; I am now seriously reconsidering. Our field has had an alarming decrease in the number of people who forgo clinical careers for the difficulties and stresses of academic and research life. Should a single one of my students read this mean-spirited and misguided attack on academic conferences, and decide it is easier to just head off and do whatever they were taught in graduate school, it wouldn’t be worth the cost-benefit risk of what good has appeared on this site.

Anyone who thinks that academics set up or attend these conferences just to visit relatives, engage in social favoritism or pad their resumes does virtually everyone I know in stuttering research a very serious dis-service, as well as a dis-service to PWS and their families, now and in the future.

Anonymous said...

Peter Fox, San Antonio, Texas
David Rosenfield, Houston, Texas
Greg Snyder, from nearby Mississippi
Anne Foundas, New Orleans
Joe Kalinowski, SpeechEasy
Roger Ingham
Ehud Yairi

Were they invited?

If not invited, why not invite them?

Tom Weidig said...


My policy is to allow all comments except those that directly attack people instead of making an argument.

Re students, I am sure that students are able to decide for themselves which arguments and comments they like or not.

I rather prefer to have all range of comments, and let the reader decide. Then do have censorship which means that I decide.

Re the choice of speakers, there is no doubt that someone decides and the choice depends on that person. The last commenter posted a few names. Have these also be asked?

You also have not said what the criteria for the young generation is. How do we know that these are the best ones? In my experience, this choice is very much dependent on the relationship they have with the organisers. The NSA conference is by invitation only and not be a transparent process of researchers applying to be speakers.

Re choosing a conference close to family, you might know that NIH has a policy to prevent this! So why do they have such a policy if it is not an issue?

Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

In the USA -

For the NSA sponsored events, you must have the approval of Lee Reeves, Nina Reeves, and Scott Yaruss.

For the FRIENDS sponsored events, you must have the approval of Lee Caggiano and Jane Fraser.

For the SFA events, you must have the approval of Jane Fraser.

For the SID-4 events, you must have the approval of whomever the current board consists of, plus Nan Ratner and Scott Yaruss.

Anonymous said...

"My policy is to allow all comments except those that directly attack people instead of making an argument."

That is patently untrue, as any reader of your argument section can attest to. See the comments on the 'Wikileaks' article as an example.

Scott Yaruss said...

Just a minor rebuttal to "Anonymous" who seemed to attribute tremendous power to me, in terms of the selection of speakers at this or any other conference.

I haven't served on either the NSA board or the Division 4 steering committee in several years, now... I have no role in picking or recommending (or "approving") speakers for any of these conferences.

I guess I'm honored that "anonymous" thinks that I'm so influential... I have a feeling, however, that the intent was not quite so benign. Alas.