I applied to a pretty broadly-themed conference in my research areas, and submited two very different contributed talk abstracts. I suspected one would be downgraded to a poster, or simply rejected. Instead, the organisers told me I could present both talks. Looking in the abstract book, I see that no one else will be giving two talks. Is giving two talks in poor taste?

Specific background: I am an early postdoc, and the conference is in Europe. Both research projects are new and have not been presented elsewhere, and are with completely separate sets of coauthors.

  • The answer by @Buffy suffices and I also congratulate you. But I could add that at least for poster often a participant gathers few of them. Attending conferences has a cost. One can also present twice or more because a coworker cannot attend, whatever reason. So you won't be seen as an arrogant or something. ....
    – Alchimista
    Jun 25, 2019 at 9:01
  • It depends upon the conference's rules. Some allow it (e.g., SETAC) and other prohibit it (e.g., ESA. Jun 25, 2019 at 22:17

3 Answers 3


It's totally fine. I commend your efficiency.

It would not be fine if you submitted two similar talks, or if you submitted a talk under someone else's name so that you could pretend to fill in for them.

  • 4
    If the conference committee thinks it is fine, then it is fine.
    – Buffy
    Jun 24, 2019 at 10:45
  • Thanks, happy for the confirmation! I was quite clear about it to the organizers, and they were clear in communicating to me that they acknowledged I submitted two talks, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't making a faux pas. Conferences are still a mystery to me! :) Jun 25, 2019 at 12:36
  • Might be worth adding something to this answer - not for the current asker, but for future people looking at the question - to note that some conferences do not allow somebody to either (a) present more than one thing, or (b) be first author on more than one thing. This one clearly does.
    – Flyto
    Jun 25, 2019 at 20:14
  • @Flyto I've never seen that myself. Though I have seen a "only one abstract per first author will be a talk, everything else is a poster" policy. Jun 26, 2019 at 7:05
  • Well, lucky you ;-) There's a conference I regularly attend that only allows one submission per first author.
    – Flyto
    Jun 26, 2019 at 14:19

It's feasible, sure. But my advice would be to "downgrade" one to one of the poster sessions. This will seem more normal...and also allows you experiences in a couple different settings (each mode has advantage/disadvantage). Choose the one you want to do that with, but I would try to do the poster second, so you get benefit of some chitchat carryover from separate talk, if people loved that.

If it doesn't work because of fitting into themes or the like, fine, leave it as is. But usually posters have some general-ish sessions anyhows. If it's a mega-conference (e.g. ACS), than don't worry...there will be thousands of people and sessions, nobody will notice/care. But if it is a more intimate setting (like a Gordon Conference), I would cut a talk or downgrade one to poster. It will just be slightly odd otherwise.

I also like the comment below about having a colleague present one topic if possible (not sure why the violent downvote).


Is giving two talks in poor taste?

It isn't ideal, but I wouldn't consider it inappropriate.

Both research projects are new and have not been presented elsewhere, and are with completely separate sets of coauthors.

I think it is better for a co-author to present one of the works.

  • Why do you consider it inappropriate?
    – Ian Turton
    Jun 24, 2019 at 18:20
  • 3
    Why would you consider it not ideal?
    – JeffE
    Jun 25, 2019 at 5:56
  • @JeffE Hearing from different speakers is more interesting than hearing from the same speaker.
    – user2768
    Jun 25, 2019 at 8:40
  • @IanTurton I wrote: I *wouldn't* consider it inappropriate.
    – user2768
    Jun 25, 2019 at 8:40
  • 1
    I agree it would be more interesting for others if someone else gave the second talk, but unfortunately they cannot make it, since this conference is not a major one, and they live quite far away--I probably should have made this clear. Jun 25, 2019 at 12:34

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