Why don't we use video conferencing more?
I had a good old experiment with the the video conferencing software in one of the Wolfson Research Exchange seminar rooms the other day. I'm quite frankly amazed it isn't used more often: the equipment is very powerful and surprisingly user-friendly, although you do need to set aside an hour or two in order to learn how to use it.
What's more exciting than sharing a talk or taking part in a seminar with a person (or even a room of people!) in another part of the world? I admit that's a bit of a geeky question, but then I am a shamelessly geeky researcher. Video conferencing allows you to exchange ideas and engage in discussion with people you might otherwise never be in direct contact with. This is particularly beneficial if your field – like mine – is somewhat obscure. Moreover, it's far less expensive (hire of the seminar rooms is free!) and considerably more comfortable than travelling to a far-flung conference.