Here’s the text from my post over on AIC’s Blog:
The 2012 Great Debate at AIC
I’ve had countless great debates with conservators at AIC, but I think they’ve usually happened outside in the hallway, over coffee, dinner, or drinks.
This is year that all changes.
For the first time ever, at the 2012 Annual Meeting in Albuquerque I’ll will be moderating the Great Debate at AIC. This is a modified Oxford Style Debate that will feature two tough topics that will be debated by the best and brightest minds in the field of conversation today. (I got the idea from seeing it at the Annual Meeting for Museum Computer Network; you can watch one of those debates here.)
So, without further ado, here are the topics and the teams set to do battle:
First Statement: Publishing accurate and complete “how-to guides” for conservation and restoration treatments online is the best way for us to care for cultural heritage in the 21st century.
Second Statement: Having conservators perform treatments in the gallery is the most successful way to generate funding for museums and raise awareness about the profession.
To make the debate successful we’ll need lots of help from a highly engaged audience. And I don’t mean just to cheer on your favorite team, we need you to participate in the Great Debate at AIC!
There will be a significant amount of time in the debate in which members of the audience will get to ask each team questions that they have to respond to. Plus, the audience will decide who wins the debate.
The goal of the Great Debate is to create a new forum at the Annual Meeting that encourages meaningful discussions and provides conservators the opportunity to demonstrate their capacity to address challenging issues directly, openly, and in a fun way.
So be sure to come out on Friday the 11th from 2:00 to 3:30 pm to see your colleague do battle on stage in front of a lively audience. I know I’m bias, but this is going to be the most fun you’ll have at the Annual Meeting this year!
I’m looking forward to attending the AIC Annual Meeting next week in Philly—not only to hear some interesting talks, but to catch up with a lot of folks I only see at the meeting.
However, one of the things I’m not looking forward to is figuring out my schedule. The national conservation association is broken up into 10 “specialty groups,” each of which could have a talk in which I’m interested. Fortunately, a fellow objects conservator, Carolyn Riccardelli of the Met, made this handy chart to help figure out the schedule. Thanks, Carolyn!
Also note the hashtag for the meeting is #AIC2011. I’m still on the fence about the usefulness of people tweeting from conferences; out of anything it can be useful to coordinate meet ups or let others know when there’s a good talk. It takes considerable skill to break down someone’s 20 minute talk to a pithy 140 character statement. I’m sure many will give it a go.