Surface Canada 2006

So I just got back yesterday evening from Surface Canada, a bi-annual conference for surface scientists from across the country to meet and discuss results. To be honest, I wasn't expecting all that much from it, but I had a great time! I saw some really quite interesting talks, as well as some good posters. Best of all I met lots of people (both students and "real scientists") who are working on similar/complimentary things to me. All-in-all it was very worthwhile. Next time I have a chance to go to a "small, Canadian conference" I will approach it with a more positive attitude. :)

My talk went OKAY... I'll admit I've done better, and probably should have prepared more. For the first time in awhile I was actually pretty nervous. Turns out when you publish a PRL word gets around, so I had people coming up to me telling me they were excited about hearing me talk. I'm really used to flying under the radar at least until after I speak! It was kind of un-nerving, but certainly exciting to have people interested in my work.

Anyway... so why wasn't I well prepared? Well... honestly, I was busy socializing. Ok, ok, that sounds bad, but I can explain! The truth is that the good "napkin science" gets done by just talking to people and sharing new ideas. Socializing is a big part of the conference scene. Plus it's a great way to make contacts with other scientists -- both the full blown ones who might play a role in hiring you, and fellow students who will be the emerging scientists when you are and could be your future collaborators.

So, really, I had a great time, and learned lots! What more can I ask for from a conference?

Now that I'm back though, it's time to squeeze in a bit of work, and a lot of wedding planning, before we take off for "the big day". Yikes!

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