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#SciFoo in pictures

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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Yes, I was at Science Foo Camp ten days ago, returning to the event after six years (you can see my posts from the 2007 event here). As before, this was an energy-filled event, and a great opportunity to meet creative people who do interesting stuff, and not just to schmooze with old friends. As the sessions’ topics are decided at the last minute and the conversations in sessions are very informal, it is hard to ‘report’ from them in a straight-forward, journalistic manner. From a very constructive session on women in STEM, and another one on dealing with denialist online commenters, through insightful discussion on use of animals in research, to several sessions on citizen science, there was definitely plenty of stuff to learn and to make one think.

Instead, I’ll just post pictures and add some of the story in the captions. New iPhones have decent cameras, I take lots of pictures, so why not use them to tell the story about the trip and convey some of the atmosphere there.

On the way there I was stuck at Denver airport for a couple of hours. Southwest's computer system went down so they grounded the entire fleet. Half of my plane was already boarded, but my bad boarding number left me at the comfortable, air-conditioned gate instead where Southwest served us our pretzels, peanuts and drinks.

Thus, I arrived in California very late. This is why the hotel is called "Wild Palms".

The same hotel where we all stayed back in 2007...

Unfortunately, no time this year for a dip in the pool....

....or to enjoy the scenery...

...because the buses were already waiting...

...yes, Google buses....

...and this is how one knows this...

...they brought us to Google campus...

...where many arrive by bike....

....yes, Google bike.

Googleplex has waterfalls....

...and wildlife...

...and a statue of Sylvia Earle....

...and more wildlife...

...and a smart car....

...and a statue of the fish-eat-fish world...

...and some more wildlife.

I registered...

...got a cool t-shirt...

...had some famous Google food for breakfast...

...and tried to make tough decisions which of many proposed sessions to attend.

....after which we had some more of the famous Google food...

...but if that wasn't enough, there's lots of food around at all times...

...that one can sample....

...before the next meal comes...

Of course, it's not all about food. It's also about explaining science with cats!

Like this...

...and this (there's much more, this is just a tiny sample).

One can find interesting things even in the bathroom!

...and on the display tables.

One could use the DNA Lego code...

...to put together sentences...

....including this one that reads "I met Bora".

But Scifoo is really about the people....

...and more people...

...and more people...

...and even more people.

That is, until one spots the Farewell Chocolate Table...

And, of course, chocolate is essential as the Fifth Food Group.

Until it's time to say goodbyes and go off to the airport and a long flight to Helsinki - about which, next time!






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