I just returned from the American Society of Health Economists (ASHE) conference held at Cornell. It was terrific! Not only was it held at my alma mater (B.S. 1994) but in the Engineering Quad where I had spent many hours learning laser optics, linear algebra, signals and systems theory, among other things (my major: Applied & Engineering Physics). How could a conference in such a storied location fail to be oodles of fun? It can’t and it didn’t.
I was impressed with the organization (lots of conference staff–Cornell students earning summer beer money–ready with directions to buildings and meeting rooms), the resources (decent catering, efficiently delivered and free WiFi everywhere), and the architecture (the Engineering Quad has undergone a major transformation since I graduated).
But most of all I was impressed with the presented papers and floored by the discussants. I received excellent feedback on the papers I co-authored and watched many colleagues take their licks, always kindly delivered (all in the name of scientific progress!). If I’m ever able to perform half as well as the average discussant I observed I’ll be very pleased with myself.
Of course I learned a lot, though nothing I’m ready to put into writing now. Rest assured, future posts will be of higher quality relative to the counterfactual that I didn’t attend the conference.
I met for the first time many colleagues whose papers I have read and cited in my published work and in posts. All had kind words to say about this blog. From what I heard, it’s beginning to feel like this blog is becoming a valuable resource for the community. I’m delighted. Please continue to send me ideas, alert me of important developments in health policy and economics, and ping me when you see a good paper that deserves to be promoted.
Meanwhile, keep up the good work!