09 Apr Behind the scenes of CONGO’s conference committee
Undercover biology: revealing the science of secrets. That’s the theme of this year’s edition of the scientific conference ‘CONGres’, annually organised by student association CONGO. Member of the conference committee Tessa van Doesum tells us about the organisation of this event at the faculty and what visitors can expect.
As the former chairwoman and current head of PR, Tessa knows all about the activities of the committee and what it takes to arrange the CONGres conference. Let’s follow the theme and discover some of the committee’s own secrets!
Q: What does it entail to organise this annual conference?
A: First we have to come up with a new theme for the next edition. We brain storm together and think about possible guest speakers. After that, we vote for the best ideas and evaluate the possibilities. When the theme has been chosen, we have to find and contact sponsors and guest speakers. Every year there are about 7 or 8 guest speakers that give a lecture about a subject that is in line with the theme. We also have to schedule a date, promote the conference and find volunteers who can help us during the conference.
Q: What do you like about being a member of this committee?
A: In 2013 I wanted to become more active in student association CONGO. I jumped off the deep end and became chairwoman of the conference committee. I learned a lot from this experience: how to hold a meeting, how to stay organised, and I learned not to do everything by myself but to delegate as well. We have a nice group of members and I like to organise things with them. It is very satisfying to successfully arrange an event like this.
Q: Why did you chose ‘secrets’ as the theme of this year?
A: We thought that this theme would attract a lot of people, because it sounds pretty exciting! We wanted to have lectures about secrets as much as possible. For example, it would be interesting to know how secrets are being kept, if animals have secrets as well, or how a lie detector works.
Q: Can you reveal a secret about the conference, a little taste of what we can expect?
A: This year we have a lot of different speakers, and I think there will be interesting lectures for everyone. The conference will not strictly be about secrets, but some guest speakers will talk more about things that are ‘unknown’. The exact content of what they will tell us is a surprise for me as well, but you can find an overview of the speakers in our programme.
Q: Which speaker are you looking forward to?
A: I’m looking forward to the lecture of Andreas Wismeijer. He is our introduction speaker and he will give an outline of what secrets are. In addition, I think the lecture of Ewout Meijer will be very interesting, since he will talk about lie detection.
Do you want to be part of the conference committee to organise the next year’s edition, or do you have a suggestion for the next theme? You can contact the committee to join the open meeting in January or follow the updates on Facebook.
Are you interested in organising events but do you want to be part of another committee? Check what possibilities there are in your student association. And let me know in the comments what other scientific events you would like us to blog about!