In academia, funding for conference attendance is limited, and both students and early-career researchers are therefore only able to attend a limited number of conferences. This means that, typically, researchers need to choose between attending multiple local and, at times, more affordable conferences, or one or two large, expensive, international conferences. Local and less expensive conferences may be research-specific but will have a smaller audience and lower networking potential. In biological anthropology and bioarchaeology, the majority of these larger annual conferences are held in North America and Western Europe where travel and accommodation costs can be very high for those outside of these regions. These costs, in addition to visa restrictions, reduce the diversity of participants at academic conferences, skewing attendance to students and researchers from the host countries. Not only does this disadvantage individuals outside of the typical host-countries, but it also limits the breadth of academic dialogue, with inclusion in academic conferences determined all too often by financial resources rather than academic value. This paper discusses the demographics and lack of diversity at some of these large conferences and the factors that are known to limit international conference travel. It then presents the benefits of digital presentation methods using Digital Dilemma 2018 as a case study for how digital presentation methods can be combined with physical presentations at minimal cost and time. We hope that this will encourage more conferences to offer a digital presentation option in the future.
Keywords: Digital Presentation Methods, Diversity, Demographics, Conference Attendance
How to Cite:
Siek, T. J., Hirst, C. S., Monetti, L., Rivera, M. B., White, S. & Carew, R. M., (2020) “Digital Dilemma 2018: Digital Presentations in Biological Anthropology and Bioarchaeology”, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 29(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.2041-9015.1171