If you don’t agree with these comments, express your attitude to conferences yourself. 

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If you don’t agree with these comments, express your attitude to conferences yourself.

Task 5.35. Write short essays concerning the following questions:

1. What are advantages and disadvantages of participating in a conference in your native town and abroad?

2. Some students are eager to take part in scientific conferences, others think that they should pay attention only to their curricular activities. Which of these opinions do you agree with? Why?


3. Do students scientific conferences have any influence on their participants’ professional future?

4. What is the most essential thing to you when you are planning to take part in a conference: (1) the value of ideas presented in your paper and those of the others, (2) the amount of the registration fee, (3)the location and prestige of the conference? Why?


Key to tasks 5.2 and 5.3. Text “A Letter From London”

Dear Martha,

I am writing to you from London. 1 have never been on a business trip or scientific mission before, so I have had a lot of problems. However, I have managed to find solutions to all of them. But let me tell you everything in proper succession.

Two months ago our department received a formal invitation to an annual conference dedicated to environmental protection. Every year the Organizing Committee appoints and approves the location of the conference. This time the conference was to be held in London. How could I decline the invitation?! I accepted it willingly and sent the title and short abstract of my paper so that the Organizing Committee could consider my paper while arranging the programme. Several weeks later I received a letter which enclosed the preliminary programme of the conference. I packed my suitcase and left for London. And there all my troubles began.

First of all, on arriving at the hotel and unpacking my suitcase, I found that I brought only the Ukrainian text of my paper. According to the rules speakers are allowed to present their papers in their mother tongue in case they supply their own interpreters. So, all the evening long I was translating my paper into English as it was the working language of the conference. In the morning I hurried to the typing room to get the translated paper typed. The typist did her job very quickly, but she mixed up the summary with introduction, and omitted several paragraphs including the most essential passage of my paper. It took me another hour to put my paper in order. Fortunately, I was just on time to get registered. As I had paid the registration fee by mail, I had only to fill in the registration form in block letters. No doubt, I should have failed to do it, but for Roman, an acquaintance of mine, who helped me to fill in some questionnaire entries.

The first speaker at the plenary session was a famous scientist from Japan. But I cannot comment on the merits of his paper as my earphones turned out to be defective and I couldn’t listen to the synchronous interpretation. Roman was to deliver his paper after the Japanese so he was busy arranging his visual aids on a special board. Of course,


Roman’s presentation was brilliant. It met all the requirements. Roman didn’t wander from the subject under consideration and kept strict timing. I should like to be as accurate as Roman. But I have never been able to stay within time-limits, I have always tried to voice my opinion as completely as I could. And my presentation at this conference wasn’t an exception. Before I had time to clarify my point of view and enlarge on the problem, my time-limit was up. But I took the floor at the panel discussion, raised the same question and managed to evoke the audience’s interest in the problem to such an extent that the chairman had to prolong the discussion. If I’m not mistaken, all the present were in favour of my ideas. Though I must tell you that I prefer to deal with people who disagree with me as, to my mind, verbal controversy with an opponent allows you to consider the problem from a different view-point and stimulates constructive thinking.

The cultural programme of the conference was excellent, but I couldn’t visit museums and go sightseeing as after the panel discussion I caught a cold and had to stay in bed for two days watching TV and reading newspapers.

At the closing meeting the chairman announced that the next conference would probably be held in Vienna. I suggest that we both should apply for participation in it. I’ll ring you up as soon as I return to Lviv, and we’ll talk it over.

Yours Helen. P.S. Don’t pay attention to my having emphasized the shady side of the journey, my general impression of the conference is highly favourable.

Key to tasks 5.4 and 5.5. Dialogue “Presentations”:

A: - Can you help me?

B: - With pleasure. What’s the problem?

A: - I’m participating in the conference for the first time. And the programme includes

so many types of presentations that I don’t know which session to attend. B: - A-ha. So you want me to describe each type of presentation, don’t you? A: - Exactly. Let’s begin with plenary presentations (пленарю доповда). В: - OK. Those are reports that are made at the plenary meeting for all participants.

And, if I’m not mistaken, they are not followed by a discussion. A: - Oh, it’s boring! I’d like to discuss papers and to comment on them. B: - Then you should attend talks (тематичш бесщи) or panel discussions (дискусп

спещашета). They consist of a 10-minute-long formal presentation and a 5-minute

discussion. In other words, these are sessions for a group of specialists to discuss

some specific issues of their interest. A: - No, it’s too narrow. I prefer general discussions. В: -1 see. Then let us consider paper reportings (секцшш доповда). It usually takes a

presenter 15 minutes to deliver his/her paper. The presentations are supported by

handouts and audio-visual aids. After the reportings the participants ask questions.

A: - Just to ask questions?! Well, I thought we gathered here to find some new

approach or solution to the problems under consideration!


В: - Now, I know. You are a creative person, so workshops (практичш семшари) are intended especially for you. A workshop has very little lecturing. The main emphasis is laid on the participants’ activities under the guidance of a leader. They solve some problem or develop a research technique during the session. '

A: - It sounds much better! But look, the programme also includes poster presentations and swap shops. What are they?

B: - Poster presentations (стендов! доповад) are held in the Conference Hall. On entering the hall you will see several posters (with brief texts accompanied by photos or charts) on display. You may get acquainted with the content of any poster and discuss it with the presenter. While in a swap shop (секція обяшу матеріалами) you may exchange your materials (such as programmes, assignments, etc.) for ready-made materials of other participants.

A: - That's great! I'm sure not en go oack home empty-handed. Thank you for the information.

B:-You are welcome.

/I» »(•(


TaskО.і.Discuss the following questions in smaU groups and then report the conclusions of your discussion to the class.


1. What do you know about professional ethics of a specialist?

2. How do you understand human responsibility of a scientist?

3. Do you agree or disagree with the statement that science and technological progress have nothing in common with humanistic ethical values? Give specific reasons to support your answer.

4. Do you believe in the existence of absolute values"?

5. What absolute values can you mention?

6. Could the spiritual pollution which we face today be as dangerous as the material one?

7. How can knowledge of ethical values and professional ethics influence our life?

II.1.What do you know about global warming and greenhouse effect?

2. What can you say about supplies of fresh water worldwide?

3. Do you think that poor land use such as clearcutting forests, draining wetlands causes destruction of ecosystems? Give extended answers.

4. How can loss of plant and animal species influence our life?


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