Categories: AAAS 2010 |  Comments
The AAAS meeting is a fun place to be, and I thought I’d share a couple of things that have put a smile on my face since I’ve been here….
Taking a turn around the exhibition hall yesterday I rounded a corner to be confronted with the mother of all carbon nanotubes hanging from the ceiling.
Well, a balloon-based one at least. It was being constructed by passers by encouraged by enthusiastic students from the University of Michigan, playing their part in the US National Science Foundation’s outreach programme (click the pic for a bigger version). They also had make-it-yourself buckyballs which I successfully constructed, but will sadly have to dismantle if I want to get it home in one piece to take pride of place on my desk.
Another gem I found sitting by the press area was Bad Presentation Bingo (click on the image and you should be able to get a bigger version you can read). I’ve not come across it before, but I’m sure many of you will appreciate the sentiment – how many presentations have you had to sit through where there have been ‘text heavy slides’, ‘confusing graphics’, ‘struggles with technology’, ‘small fonts’ or ‘disorganised rambling’? BINGO!
It’s an initiative by the Illinois Science Council to encourage researchers to improve their communication skills just as they would their research, particularly when talking to non-specialist audiences.
And finally, while AAAS is a magical place to many, this year it may have been taken to new levels of greatness. Imagine my surprise, when walking along the epic central corridor on my first morning, to see to one side the following sign:
It turns out one of the other events taking place this week within the cavernous San Diego Convention Centre is some kind of grand wizarding tour… It seems to be based on some kind of card trading game, judging by the clusters of people sitting round intensely swapping cards.
Whatever it is, a smile has crossed my face every time I’ve walked past that Wizard Information Booth, and it has definitely added a little magic to my AAAS.