Flying directly from SciFoo in California to WCSJ2013 in Helsinki, Finland is a pretty long trip that requires a pretty big airplane. Those of you who know me well, know I am obsessed with airplanes, am an addict of FlightAlert, choose JetBlue on domestic flights in order to continuously monitor flight statistics, and my first requirement when someone else is booking my flights is "the biggest airplane you can get". So I was quite pleased to be riding on this big bird, the original Jumbo Jet:

What I really liked, though, was something that is apparently banned on US air carriers, but both of Finnair flights (to and from London to Helsinki) had - a cockpit cam! While the screen shows many more different flight stats than JetBlue does, and one can also watch the view from a camera facing straight down (which is really nice when approaching the Land of 1000 Lakes), during the last few minutes of flight, during landing, everyone's screen is automatically turned on to the cockpit cam. It feels like playing a video game, piloting the airplane down onto the runway!

Helsinki is gorgeous:

I checked in:

And picked up the Program:

First morning plenary, by Hans Rosling "A fact-based world view – people, money & energy"

The first morning plenary panel was What about ethics?

I went to many sessions, but did not take photos in each one. And those I took from the back row with my iPhone, as you can see, are not very clear, but OK....

What happens outside USA and UK?:

Says who? – Challenging the experts on medical knowledge:

Wearing many hats? How to preserve independence was already covered in great detail by Kai Kupferschmidt and Anne Sasso.

The day ended with an evening at the National Archives of Finland:

Second day's morning plenary - Deborah Blum: "The Poisoner’s Guide to Life (And Communicating Chemistry)."

Then, there was a plenary panel, The Rise of the Science Blog Network: Lessons from All Corners of the World, organized by Deborah Blum, moderated by Lynne Smit, with panelists Betsy Mason, Alok Jha, Ed Yong and yours truly:

You can watch the whole panel webcast here (You can watch webcasts of all the plenary talks and panels):

Next panel was "The ‘killer’ science journalists of the future." But if you've ever been to my blog, you know I wrote a lot about it already, see: #sci4hels – ‘Killer’ science journalists of the future ready to take over the world!, and #sci4hels – the ‘killer’ science journalists of the future want your feedback, and #sci4hels – What makes one a “killer” (science) journalist of the future?. Of course, preparing for this for almost a year, they did an amazing job and were rightfully stars of the event (but also see this and this).

A deserved outing:

The third day started with the plenary talk "Mental preparation for a vulnerable world":

Late breaker session: Big data, big brother:

Making Sense of Uncertainty:

Closing Plenary: New Horizons:

Barbecue dinner at Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre, was the last event: