10 thoughts on VICEPHEC

  1. I enjoyed VICEPHEC this year. I like meeting friends and colleagues and hearing about what people are doing.

2. Everybody has a different view on what VICEPHEC is. The two parent organisations need to outline some overarching guidelines as to what VICEPHEC is (and isn’t).

3. These guidelines can then frame abstract calls and conference themes, with local hosts free to offer initiatives such as the (reportedly excellent) Labsolutely Fabulous.

4. I detected several instances of quite pointed commentary this year disregarding/dismissing any sense of evaluation of output or serious data. In my view this is anti-intellectual.

5. Sharing good ideas is a valuable part of the meeting; but we have an ethical responsibility to consider evaluation. Do you want to be the next “Learning Styles”?

6. Evaluation does not necessitate diving into the pedagogical glossary. But let’s not dismiss those who chose to do this. After all Variety is in the name.

7. But should we change the name? I think the combined meeting should have a new name. It is only physicists and chemists for historical reasons.

8. Sponsorship is welcome and beneficial. But we need to keep clear boundaries between sponsors and the academic programme. See 2.

9. Disagreement and debate within a community is healthy. But let’s do it respectfully. We are all on the same side.

10. MICER is a very different and much more niche affair than VICEPHEC. If I thought for a minute that MICER meant that talks at VICEPHEC became evaluation-free, I’d shut up shop.

While I have you… MICER18 is on 14th May 2018 🙂

2 thoughts on “10 thoughts on VICEPHEC

  1. I think I agree with all of this.
    I’d possibly emphasise 3 as being optional in calls to host variety – not all venues are suited to this, and not all potential organisers want to put on pre-events to the same level. It is one of the main bits that would put me off trying to get a Keele proposal together.
    I’m intrigued by 8 a bit, I like sponsorship that keeps costs down and enables a better conference, but I dislike the idea of that influencing what sessions run (or indeed being used to put sessions on that promote specific commercial options).
    Not sure about the name thing.
    Finally, I wonder if there’s scope for a one-off physical sciences ped res conference with a very clear remit. HEASTEM, UKStem Horizons and that teaching in HE one that I can never remember the name of are more general than Vice/Phec but also dabble between practice and ped res. It may be quite a small ‘niche’ but it would be interesting to gauge interest. And I view that as strongly distinct from MICER – methods conferences exist in other realms of physical sciences without changing the nature of research conferences.

  2. Also agree with this….
    In light of the growth in the number of chem ed engaged practitioners I think dialogue from the sponsors about the role of the conference is a good idea. Also what the purpose of each type of contribution is. For example, are Oral Bytes really the place for presenting work that has only just started/not started at all? I know that was originally the idea but with a wealth of good stuff going on I think there are other places for this.

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