The difficulty in getting papers accepted by journal editors is noted in Howard Greyber’s letter (Physics Today, July 2008, page 8). But that is the reason we have conferences and symposia. A conference paper can present opinions based on observations and analysis; it can challenge conventional wisdom and suggest new ideas and directions.

My last paper before I retired was presented at an international conference. I reported my analysis of observations with a suggestion as to the cause of the results. The meeting room was packed, and I received several compliments. That paper would never have been accepted by a journal editor. I would have been told that my results were speculative and that I needed to do more research—that phrase, which disregards the reality of funding, seems to be a favorite phrase of editors. The paper was published in the conference proceedings.