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What makes conference calls so useful to scientists?

Scientists pursue discovery in a highly competitive environment. Funding is tight. Knowledge is hoarded. The first one to publish gets all the glory, and often the financial rewards. Yet nowadays scientists often collaborate on projects even though they might belong to many different institutions scattered across the globe.

Conference calls are becoming more useful to scientists every year, as cost-effective teamwork becomes an increasingly central factor in discovery and invention.

Science is learning to crowd source, but it hasn’t always been so.

In 1895 when Alfred Nobel died, he held over 300 patents. He went down in history for inventing dynamite and establishing the Nobel Prize.

But one thing he couldn't foresee was how his limit of maximum three shared recipients per prize would become wildly obsolescent over time.

He didn't anticipate how important teamwork would become to science.

Teamwork and the Nobel prize

As early as 1962, Francis Crick, James D. Watson, and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Physiology and Medicine Prize for discovering the structure of DNA, but unfortunately, Rosalind Franklin, who supplied the crucial photographic  X-ray diffraction image that made the double helix structure apparent, missed out on the recognition she deserved.

As the years go by, more and more "large team" Nobel prizes are given to just three official recipients, who are beginning to acknowledge in their acceptance speeches that the Nobel Prize needs to update its criterion.

One silent partner that will likely never get the recognition it deserves from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is the humble conference call, who does such a great job of keeping all these teams of scientists connected. Beyond just reducing expenses for remote teams, teleconferencing also offers a number of useful features.

Desktop Sharing increases accuracy

One of the features that make conference calls so useful to scientists and inventors is Screen Sharing.

Watson and Crick were significantly delayed in publishing their DNA model because they hadn't access to Franklin's photographic evidence, which was only a few miles away at a different college.

Screen Sharing is perfect for collaborative work on engineer's drawings, scientific formulae, excerpts from scientific journals, and visual representations like Rosalind Franklin's X-ray crystallography.

As powerful as it is, Screen Sharing is free, and requires no downloads or complicated software. Just click "Share Screen" on the menu in the top right of your private meeting room, and move forward.

Of course, your Private Meeting Room on is private and secure, because sharing information on the team is one thing, but there's no sense giving the competition any bright ideas!

Using Call Record to capture ideas

For scientists and inventors, another useful feature of conference calls is Call Record. When you are busy thinking, nobody wants to play secretary. Call record automatically records an entire conference call onto an MP3 file, which is emailed to you in two hours.

You can even have your teleconference transcribed for use as minutes and fodder for newsletters and reports. Transcription of Call Record also provides a legal record, which might come in handy when you have to figure out which three of your 24 scientists are going to show up and accept the Nobel Prize on behalf of the team!

Now you'll know exactly who said "Eureka" first!

Just like a rock and roll band in a music studio that leaves the tapes running when they are practicing, scientists and inventors should always engage Call Record, because you never know when a brilliant idea will pop out. Sometimes those breakthroughs are hard to remember exactly how they went in the morning.

After all, Einstein wouldn't have got very famous for E = mmd2.

"I mean, I think that was it!"

Teamwork evolved

It would be ironic if scientists and inventors in this day and age relied completely on old fashioned tech, like chalk boards, pads and pencils, to share their information, or inefficient systems like cars and airplanes to get together, because conference calls combine numerous scientific discoveries and inventions from the telephone, to the computer, to fibre optic cables, and even the mouse.

It is hard to tell which is more useful to the other now: scientists to conference calls, or conference calls to scientists! Either way, conference calls and scientists are only getting more connected with each other as time goes by.

Free and easy video conference calls with features like Desktop Sharing and Call Record, and the crystal clear audio quality of true conference calls are what make conference calls so useful to modern scientists.



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