Saturday, February 16, 2013

AAAS Boston

Notepad on a string and 2 gigabyte flash drive from the European Union
The blue square wrapper at the bottom is all that is left of Belgian chocolate.  Bliss 

This morning I scurried out the door at 4:50 am enroute to the AAAS conference in Boston.  The drive was not much fun with snow pummeling my windshield most of the way.  At times, my speed dropped to 40 mph.  I thought the subway stop "Hynes Convention Center" would take me right into the building.  Wrong!   I also had a bit of an issue registering because my confirmation was deleted when I canceled my hotel reservation.  It didn't help that my license was in the glove compartment of the car, a 45-minute trip by subway.  Oops.  Thankfully, a business card saved the day.

In this press hall, I met science writer Kathryn Hulick. 

  Press had access to a room filled with computers, an interview room, and another room filled with research papers and press releases.  Research papers were organized by session date, time, and then alphabetical by scientist's last name.

I was in my glory in this room
Stories hot off the press
Most of my day I was holed up listening to scientists talk about their work.  Some of it was really captivating stuff that I plan to write about. 

In the exhibit hall, various science organizations and universities had booths (PNAS, NSF, AAAS....).   Grad students were passionate about their research.  If you stopped to read their poster, it was a lot like opening a musical card at the gift shop.  They immediately started up with an explanation of their work. 
Grad students stood lined up by their posters.
I listened at length to one researcher.  Maybe I'll write about her work.   I stayed too long looking at posters and got to my session late.  The scientist I was interested in hearing was listed last, so I thought she was speaking last.  Wrong!   I walked in and she was at the podium.  Oops. 

I went to the AAAS conference to soak up science and that is exactly what I did.  I was intent on maximizing my time there.  A couple of times I regretted my decisions about being one place over another.  Aside from that, I thought the conference was an exciting intellectual experience.  It gave me new story ideas (not that I needed any!).  I left fired up to get to work.  I would definitely go again if it was nearby.
I'm sure that periodic table tee is selling like hot cakes

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