This continues to be an interesting question, and I approached it with a different perspective from a recent experience. I just got back from the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) 49th Annual Meeting, which had almost 30,000 attendees. I have been at this meeting many times in the past and yet I am surprised by the crowd; it’s a village/town of neuroscientists and the support network. Although technological advancement over the years provides many electronic sources of communication, learning, resource gathering, etc., people still like to attend meetings in person. It is no secret that humans are “social beings” and the technology may not be able to replace the social aspect of human race. Whether it is large or small meeting, the ability to build interpersonal relationships is perhaps the most important attribute of in-person meetings that cannot be replaced by electronic means. However, technological advancements, such as networking and partnering Apps, electronic posters, etc., certainly increased the efficiency and experience of these meetings.
When it comes to collaborations, partnerships and business deals, people work with people, people buy from people, and people invest in people. No matter how good the technology or the product is, it is important to have the social element to make the final call in many cases. I believe the best is differentiated by the second best by the human element. I truly enjoyed the human element with the technology to enhance experience at the SFN meeting. For me, Human with Technology is better. I believe technology will not be able to replace the social aspect – what do you think?