Conference Talk

Love them or hate them, conferences are a big part of academic life. In this episode we talk about getting the most out of a conference experience. How do you meet people (the dreaded “networking”) and make the transition from feeling awkward to comfortable when you’re new to a conference? How do you decide what to go to and what to skip? What are the etiquette and norms you should know about? How does the experience of going to a conference change over the course of your career? We share our tips, experiences, and stories from over the years. Plus: A letter about getting familiar with the literature for your first research project.


The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at You can subscribe to us on iTunes

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.

This is episode 52. It was recorded on January 25, 2019.