I’ve read that certain linguists actually wonder, given the complexity of language and thought, as to how people actually communicate given that they most manifestly do.
I don’t really know the research literature on this but my tuppence is that it matters a great deal as to whether people are on the same wavelength, so to speak.
After all, if one is going to a conference then one might suspect that there is already much in common that one already has with the other participants in terms of the major questions at hand. Also, it’s important to recognise that scientific language despite its wide vocabulary - mainly due to its many specialisms - actually uses quite simple language on the whole. This makes it relatively straight-forward to learn scientific English as it only uses a small fragment of the language and its resources. The main problem, is understanding the concepts.
As for anecdotes I can’t recall any offhand that is about what you are asking for. I do recall Richard Feynman writing about his teenage years how he by inventing his own symbols for already existing terms wasn’t helping him to communicate and that having a common language to communicate in was important.