Learned societies need to rethink models for organising events; national gatherings don’t have structural significance they once did, nor are they structurally viable under these macroeconomic conditions. Some are mitigating this around the edges but major work needed. Media system in which academic gatherings happen has completely changed from when nearly all learned societies were founded. This means their significance in representing/connecting disciplines has shifted but modus operandi remains predicated on loosely networked disciplines. I’m not suggesting I have answers but convinced these are questions learned societies need to be asking. Unwillingness to consider radical rethink is understandable given financial crisis they’re facing but there’s huge risk of doom loop here where membership steadily declines.
I made this argument in a much wider context here but I really must write this up as a paper or series of blog posts at some point