I spent the last several days at the ScienceOnline conference in Raleigh, and I am exhausted. These conferences, even more than technical conferences I attend for work, require me to be “switched on” for most of my waking day — there is only one session each day that involves someone standing up and talking to you, for just an hour — the rest of the time you are engaged in a group discussion, or talking to people between those session. The energy is amazing, though and that, plus a good dose of caffeine kept me amped up until I crashed.
I got to meet quite a few people, and as always, they were all people working on impressive projects and programs. I always feel a bit overwhelmed, in an imposter-syndrome sort of way, finding out what everyone else is working on, though my line of “I build atomic clocks for the navy” usually elicits a “that’s cool” response, and I haven’t gotten tired of hearing it. Physics+astronomy was fairly well-represented — better than in previous years, from what I can tell. (We had a lunch group and filled up two tables (16 slots) of people talking physics).
I intend to write a few session summaries once I’ve recovered and when I get a little time in the next week.