Instructions for Speakers

As is clear from the IAU S350 Provisional Programme it will not be possible for speakers to use their own computers and at the same keep the talk schedule for IAU S350 on schedule. We therefore kindly request that ALL speakers complete and upload their talks not later than Tuesday 9th April 2019, using the OU’s secure file transfer service operated by zendto (an encrypted system accepting files of up to 4 GB).

Details of how to deposit you file are included below.

Talk Length and Content

Please recall that talks are either

  • 12 minutes long with 3 minutes for questions (for all invited topical talks and contributed talks)
  • 25 minutes long with 5 minutes for questions (invited review talks)
  • 40 minutes long with 5 minutes for questions (plenary talk).

We will be asking chairs to stick to these timings rigorously – as a guide a slide per minute or two is the maximum you should anticipate using. Do feel free to have “potential question slides” at the end of the talk – but not more than 3 per submission.

Laboratory Astrophysics is a very diverse field – delegates come from many different disciplines, career stages and backgrounds. Please take time to “set your work in context” assuming some understanding of the field, but recalling that not all audience members will be theoretical specialists, laboratory specialists, or observers. Likewise, the content covers stars, planets, Solar System, ISM, and galaxies. Thus, not everyone in the field will be a specialist in your area of astronomy. However, the  IAU S350 Provisional Programme clearly shows who will speak before you – which may help in setting your talk in context.

All invited topical talks and contributed talks are requested to avoid reviews of their field – these are covered elsewhere, and rather to focus on the work highlighted in their abstracts. Please be certain to show clearly in the case of observational work how it has been enhanced by the addition of laboratory data and simulations, and for simulations / theory and lab work – how the results have impact back to observational astronomy.

Preparing Your Talks

Please prepare your talks as follows;

  1. Use Microsoft PowerPoint – the computers at the conference will be running Windows 10 and PowerPoint 2016 (to aid you with compatibility features).
  2. Slides should be in 16:9 (1080P resolution) widescreen format.
  3. All videos and animations should be embedded and run under a VLC player which works with the majority of codecs. If you have something very specialised to present please contact us on
  4. File size < 4 GB.
  5. Please NAME your file:-


  • If you need to replace a file please add a new version number and upload a new file.
  • If your presentation includes embedded objects, please put the presentation and copies of all embedded videos into a single folder and zip it then send it. Do not send each file separately. Please then name the talk within the folder as above, but name the folder:-


  • Again, if you change something in the folder please do not upload the one file that changes and assume we will be able to put it in the right place – there are > 80 speakers!! Please update the files within your folder, and version control the folder number, and upload the whole folder again – we will only bring the most up to date folder for each speaker.
  • The AV system uses dual screen monitors, so the speaker will have the usual PowerPoint presenter and display views concurrently.
  • Laser pointers will be available.
  • The room is large and a radio mic / lectern mic is available – please avoid leaving the lectern to talk, if you have not chosen to use the radio mic. Please note, when choosing what to wear, that the radio mic controller often needs a pocket / belt or place to be clipped on!
  • If you insist on using PDF, then Adobe Reader DC is available for displaying talks, but Jesus College AV do not have software to provide a private presenter view. The quality of PDF projected presentations is generally lower than that of PowerPoint on the system in use.
  • It will be possible to check your talk the night before it is due to be presented i.e. Sunday for Monday speakers, Monday for Tuesday speakers etc. Speakers should remain in the lecture theatre between the end of the day’s scientific session and the start of the Poster session for this purpose.

In very exceptional circumstances presenters may be able to use their own computer, but only if there is a specific software requirement to do so. Please contact us before assuming this is possible. In that case also let us know what software you require. Both HDMI and VGA connections will be available, but you must bring your own adaptor to connect between your own computer and the VGA / HDMI plugs. Please check with us again in advance whether these connections are male or female.

If you have urgent talk changes during the meeting, then please also attend the designated “talk testing” sessions, with the modifications appropriately labelled and on a USB stick. The organisers cannot provide USB sticks for this purpose and will replace your files in the master PowerPoint for each session.

Acknowledging Support

A number of speakers have received significant financial support in the form of travel grants or subsidised registration fees – all of this has been made possible by a number of sponsors. Please take a slide to specifically thank our sponsors if you have benefitted from their support. The full list of sponsors and their logos are available here.

For Invited Speakers – please thank the RSC and STFC – their generosity has supported your participation in this meeting.

For the Travel Grant Recipients – please thank either the IAU, Europlanet, ESA or NASA – you were informed with your travel grant award email which of these sponsors supported your attendance.

For UK “young people” including our student helpers – please thank the RSC and RAS whose funds specifically supported young UK scientists attending the meeting.

Of course if you have funds from elsewhere – such as National or University funds you should always thank those sponsors too.

Uploading Your Talks

When you are ready to upload you talk please visit:

You need to select “drop-off”

Fill in your name, institution and email address on the next screen – when you have sent the confirmation you then need to wait for an email in your inbox;

Follow the zendto link in the email confirmation – it will bring you to the depository screen. You should ensure all the boxes are ticked, that your name and email are as you entered them in the from field, and complete the to field and notes fields exactly as shown below. Then click or drag your file / folder (names as described above) onto the add files box;

Please add your name and talk date as the file description and then “drop off the file”.

You will see a confirmation screen of the deposition of your file and will receive an email to this effect. We will receive an email at the same time. As soon as we collect your file you will also receive notification that we have it. All the deposited files are virus checked and encrypted – but additional encryption is suggested if the files are of a sensitive nature.

How secure is zendto?

All files are transferred across the network securely encrypted.All files uploaded and temporarily stored on ZendTo are held on equipment owned and operated at the Open University’s own Data Centre. All data is subject to the Data Protection regulations and laws of the Open University and the country (UK).

ZendTo is in no way a “cloud” service. Everything is stored (even temporarily) on equipment directly owned by the Open University, and managed by its own IT staff. All access to data is very tightly and strictly controlled by the OU. All accesses to data on ZendTo are logged and can be easily checked if you are ever concerned that a 3rd party might have gained access to your data.

Furthermore, uploaded data is only held on ZendTo for a maximum of 14 days, after which time it is automatically deleted. There is no “undelete” facility available at all. No backups are taken of the uploaded data (it’s only a transitory stopping point), so no uploaded data ever moves off ZendTo itself onto other equipment or media such as backup tapes. After an uploaded file has been deleted, there is no way of recovering the file.

Retrieval of a drop-off by a recipient can only be done with both the drop-off’s Claim ID and Passcode. When dropping off files, you can choose not to send either or both of these to the recipient automatically. You would then need to send that information by hand yourself.