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In the next issue of Avian Biology Research...

Posted on 15. December, 2010.

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The editor-in-chief, Charles Deeming, gives his impression of the 13th European Poultry Conference held in Tours, France (www.epc2010.org). There were probably well over a thousand delegates at this year's event. Whilst it is nominally a European event it attracted people from all around the world, but was it worth the cost of the fare?

Poultry Science is of great commercial significance and so research continues unabated even in these harsh economic times. Conferences to celebrate this academic effort come around on a regular basis and August 2010 saw the 13th European Poultry Conference in Tours, France (www.epc2010.org).

Such conferences are not small affairs – although exact numbers were not available, there was probably well over a thousand delegates at this year’s event. Whilst it is nominally a European event it certainly had attracted people from all around the world.

One problem with such big events is that it is difficult to attend all of the sessions, most of which run in parallel and are dedicated to particular topics. All of the usual topics were covered – nutrition, alternative poultry systems, welfare, economics, etc… Some talks were very good – interesting topics and well presented. Many other presentations, however, were rather dull to say the least. The topics being studied seemed either mundane or repetitive of previous studies. Many reports were of studies that were so all encompassing that the authors had so many variables they were unable to come to any meaningful conclusion. The research questions were often too vague and the authors did not really know what the answer was except that they had some statistically significant results, which they then tried to interpret in a meaningful way. Other speakers just did not seem to know the basics of the science or how to design an experiment.

So many talks seemed to lack any interesting focus on novel aspects of poultry science and I was disappointed to come away from a conference feeling that I had not really learned very much new or been inspired to investigate new ideas.

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