torsdag 15. september 2016

Three crazy weeks

So I started this blogpost on Sunday, actually, but it was first now I’ve had the time to continue and finish – and of course, most of what I wrote on Sunday (like being at Gardermoen, drinking a glass of wine, on my way to conference) is not true anymore. Now I am at the Nuclear Data 2016 conference, and this first one of three crazy weeks is going to an end.

So here’s s small recap of this week:
-       I gave my talk yesterday – it went quite well, I think
-       We have discussed quite a lot about what to do about the neutrons that we know are part of what we see in our gamma detectors (I’m really looking forward to get all the new detectors, that will be able to distinguish between neutrons and gammas!)
-       I still get quite nervous about talking to other scientists, but it’s better now than it was before
-       it’s very hot here – more than 30 degrees
-       it’s very hot in my hotel room (no AC) – probably more than 30 degrees, and if I open the window, I get many many many mosquito bites (temperature and mosquitos are the reasons why I only slept for max one hour at the time this night, and that I had to get up three times to take a super quick shower just to cool down)
-       Bruges is a very beautiful city. Unfortunately there’s not much time to see much when you travel to these kinds of conferences, but I’ve seen enough to know that this is a place I need to get back to with Anders – it really seems like the ideal place for a romantic weekend <3
-       the top people in IAEA, NEA and other such organisations are not able (at least none were able this week) to give a speech with any kind of substance. For example, one of the top people of one of these organisations basically said I’m a biologist, you’re nerds, I’m too important to stay here for the conference*, water’s becoming more and more important. Maybe I’m naïve, but I’d think those kinds of people were able to at least give motivating speeches to 400 scientist…
-       I’ve learned a little bit more about (prompt) fission gamma rays
-       I now know we need to analyse the plutonium experiment so that we hopefully can use that as a test to if we manage to estimate how much neutrons we measure together with our gammas
-       there are a lot of things I don’t understand, and I feel kind of stupid for much of the time (I don’t think it’s all my fault, though, since I think many of the speakers don’t really think about us in the audience – that we should be able to understand what they’re saying, and maybe even learn something)
-       Americans are mostly good at giving talks, and not just because they don’t have language issues; they’ re simply (often) good at explaining what they’re doing, in a simple language, and they don’t forget that 90% of the people in the audience are actually not experts in exactly the same field as themselves
-       there are actually people wearing corderoi pants here
-       I just heard someone using the word ”guesstimate”, which is just an awesome word, completely covering the process of getting rid of these neutrons :D

The ”crazy” part of these three weeks is that I’m going to be ”on the road” for most of the time:
On Sunday I left Oslo, for Brussels, and then Bruges. Tomorrow I’m going back to Oslo, only to go directly on the boat to Copenhagen (Family trip, with Anders, Alexandra, my sister, her kids, and our mother). We’re coming back to Oslo on Sunday morning, and then I need to get back home and quickly re-pack my bags, before I’ll meet NHO just after lunch. Then I’m starting the two weeks long #jenterogteknologi-tour: we’re going to visit en different cities all around Norway – a new one every day, and I’ll be giving a talk in all of these cities. It really is all around Norway; from Kristiansand in the south, to Alta in the North, and we’ll be driving around in a van :D Luckily I get to go home and see Anders and Alexandra next weekend, but it will be sad to only see both of them once a week for three weeks (I saw them last weekend, and I’ll meet them this weekend, and then the weekend after).
I’m looking forward to October now, and ”only” having to finish my PhD…

Unfortunately, I’ll miss the very end of the conference, since  have to be back in Oslo by noon’ish tomorrow. This means I have to be on the train from Bruges at 6AM. Hopefully then I can sleep on the train.


*He din’t say that he was too important, but he made a point out of leaving just after the first Keynote session. The other things he actually said…

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