As a few of my recent posts indicate, I’ve been thinking about travel and how having a new baby might affect it. Next week, I’ll head off to the Evolution meeting with my 3 month old in tow. My mother and sister will meet me in Utah, and will watch my baby while I attend the meeting. I’ll need to meet up with them every 2 hours or so to nurse him. (The boy is like clockwork in wanting to eat every 2 hours!) On Sunday afternoon/evening, this is going to be a bit challenging: I will be giving a talk in the American Society of Naturalists (ASN) Vice Presidential Symposium on Sunday afternoon, and then there are two different events I’d like to attend on Sunday at 5 (including an ASN Faculty-Student Mixer), followed by Dolph Schluter’s ASN Presidential address at 6. So, I’m hoping to minimize the amount of time I need to spend running off to feed my baby.
Which is when I had this idea:
Right now, it costs $195 to register a family member. (Maybe that is just for receptions? If so, it’s not clear how to register a family member just so they can get into the meeting. When I tried to do this online, it just shows the $195 option.) That’s too much to pay for the convenience of being able to spend a bit longer at the meeting. The fee at the ESA meeting is $45. It seems like something that could pretty easily be waived for people who need to meet up with caretakers. I think it would be a great way for societies to show that they are family friendly and support young parents.
UPDATE: Michele Dudash, a member of the Evolution 2013 organizing committee, has written to say that the companion registration “includes all receptions (7 coffee breaks during the day and 5 night receptions (Fri-Tues) including the banquet on Tuesday evening.” She also writes that “family members who do not wish to participate in any of Evol2013 day or evening receptions or events. . . can come to Snowbird as any other Snowbird visitor, and relax until each feeding time with the little one. There will be no registration fees if the companion does not partake of any of the socials or the meeting, except for the Gould Lecture, which is free to all.” So, for Evolution 2013, guest registration is not needed in order to simply meet up for a baby hand off, which is great.
Thanks to the Evolution 2013 organizers for writing so promptly! They are doing lots of other good things related to women in science — as I’ve noted on twitter, there are lots of women invited speakers in the symposia, and they are holding a Women in Science panel on Saturday at lunch (free, but registration required) — so it’s not surprising that they’ve been responsive here.