I’m jet-lagged as hell after getting back from Vienna, Austria last night so thought I would write a wee blog, because what could possibly go wrong!? (The fact that I immediately found two glaring spelling errors in the above sentence is a good indicator that something will indeed go wrong).
The European Geosciences Union General Meeting (the EGU) takes place in Vienna, Austria, for a week every April and brings together geoscientists from around the world. It’s the biggest geoscience conference in Europe, and the second biggest in the world (after the AGU which I wrote about here) – 15,075 scientists from 106 countries attended, to give you an idea of the scale! It turned out to be a very social conference for me, since a fair few of my friends and colleagues from WA and around the world also attended, so there was plenty of opportunity for
drinking beer networking throughout the week. It was really great to be able to see my friends present their work, since we don’t usually talk shop that often – it turns out that the people I know are bloody clever!
This is the last conference I’ll get to attend during my PhD, and is the first conference where I’ve felt moderately comfortable in my work – hence the idea of conferencing as an adult. Throughout the week I had the satisfaction of seeing my methods validated in other people’s work, and after a couple of pep talks from some PhD buddies, worked up the courage to approach a couple of people about jobs. Even though my poster session was Friday evening (you can check out my poster here if you’d like), attendance in the session was still high, and the feedback I received was generally good. It may have helped that I unashamedly bribed passers-by with snacks, which turned out to be an effective tool to get people to stop! After so long working on the same thing I find that I’ve lost sight of how bloody cool my work is (biased opinion, but true nonetheless!), so seeing people’s excited reaction to the length and resolution of the proxy records, as well as the results, was a good reminder! I’m really excited to get a paper submitted about the work, and discussions over beers also opened up a couple of possible future collaborations, so we’ll see where that goes.
Side note: the whole paragraph above is terribly positive, and it’s really messing with my usual reflex of self deprecation. I’m trying something new.
A highlight of the conference was the many short courses that ran during the week – I particularly enjoyed the short course about combating fake news in science (the theme of the 21st Century?). I linked a few of the takeaways on Twitter, which you can take a look at by clicking on the tweet below.
All in all, I had a wonderful conference (and a great mini-holiday checking out some sights the week before), and I’m feeling ready and inspired to finish this PhD and move onto something new! Check out some gratuitous snaps below from a fortnight in Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava and Salzburg.