Measuring Behavior is an international multidisciplinary conference which takes place every two years. This August it is in Wageningen, in the Netherlands. If you are a behavioral researcher, you really ought to attend. Why?
1) The diverse, multidisciplinary program
The scientific program contains contributions focusing on purely scientific aspects (issues of replicability, dynamic aspects of behavior) and applied research (animal welfare), human behavior (eye trackers in consumer research) and animal (rodent behavior), technical sessions (video tracking of social animals and recognition of human behaviors from video), sessions presenting the latest technology (3D simulators) and topics that are of relevance to everyone (eating behavior of people). The above list just scratches the surface of what promises to be a very diverse and interesting three days.
2) The unique focus
Most conferences focus on results. But the tools and methodology are also critical. Many of the most important advances in science only took place when the appropriate tools became available; without the microscope, the telescope, or even Darwin’s sailing ship, science would have remained stuck. A special aspect of the conference is the Demonstration Showcase, where academics and industry present their latest prototypes and products.
3) The location
Wageningen is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, having just celebrated 750 years of city rights last year. The University was founded in 1876, building on the local Agricultural College which already existed. It is now a world-center for biological research, with several groups doing outstanding research in both animal and human behavior as well as a variety of commercial spin-off companies (including the long-term sponsor of Measuring Behavior, Noldus Information Technology). If you want to combine the conference with some tourism, it is only an hour by train to the city centre of Amsterdam.
4) The networking
Measuring Behavior is not one of those giant conferences where you never meet the same person twice. There will be just a few hundred delegates and we can promise a convivial friendly atmosphere.
5) Great keynote speakers
The conference opens with a keynote from Prof. Gernot Riedel, who is Chair in Systems Neuroscience at Aberdeen University (Scotland, UK). He will be talking about Strategies in spatial learning: new in-depth psychological analysis using old tools. On the second day, Jennifer Healey will give a presentation entitled, Measuring behavior to offer better solutions: in the moment and longer term. Dr. Healey is a research scientist with the Interactions and Experiences Research Lab at Intel. She is particularly interested in mobile and in-car systems and their interaction with the user. The final keynote will be given by the leading neuroscientist, Prof. John Disterhoft (Northwestern University, USA), Eyeblink conditioning: a paradigm to study associative learning across species. His research focusses on learning and memory in the elderly.