By Merrick Powell
After a necessary couple of years off, the Society for Music Perception and Cognition held an in-person conference in Portland, Oregon in August 2022. Many researchers from all over the world were able to reconnect with old friends and colleagues; and many students were able to experience their first, big, in-person conference! I was fortunate enough to be able to attend with my supervisor Bill Thompson as well as our very own AMPS president Amanda Krause.
The opening welcome, SMPC president’s address, and awards had many people in the room feeling especially grateful for being able to connect face-to-face again. There were so many excellent talks and posters across the four days, with all of the talks I attended being to full rooms of warm and receptive audiences. A look at the full schedule shows the vast and excellent array of talks and posters presented (https://pheedloop.com/SMPC2022/site/schedule/).
One particular highlight was the panel talk on anti-racism and equity in science given by Mike Eagle (aka Open Mike Eagle), Juan Eudardo Wolf and Jennifere Mendoza (chaired by Dominique Vuvan), which facilitated an excellent discussion and left everyone in the room feeling motivated to reflect on their role in these important issues in the field.
Other panels for grant writing, PhD applications, graduate students, junior faculty, and the mentor/mentee lunches provided great opportunities for researchers at all levels to ask questions, seek advice, and make some new friends through the shared experiences of navigating various career stages in a largely online world. The many social events provided opportunities to continue these conversations and share some great moments. The SMPC party saw some presenters and attendees shift roles and become the DJs, and many other impromptu performances were on display on the dancefloor and at the karaoke afterparty. A very big thank you goes out to Zachary Wallmark and the SMPC committee for making this whole event happen and having everyone already excited for future conferences.