I plan on attending the International Conference on Nuclear Data for Science and Technology (ND2013) that will be held at some lousy-ass Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers ["Hey Sheraton! Hey Gerrrrl!!"]. I’ll rest my head elsewhere. This is a conference that is held every three years internationally (this year, New York City will be the location) and, seemingly, the attendees will be flocking to the Big Apple from all over the world.
For me, this will be an eye-opening experience (now, I’m just typing that because it’s cliche), not only because it’ll be my very first time in New York City, but also because of my slight interest in all “things nuclear”. Another reason that I chose to attend this conference is because I want to attend one that’s stateside. Perhaps later on, I’ll venture outside of the States and surround myself with fellow researchers, engineers, scientists, physicists and technologists that actually contribute more to science and engineering than those that are more regional here in the States, but that’s later on.
Rolling on assumption, I’m guessing the head honchos at this conference will be those that hail from the “blue sky research” haven known as Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). Not that I have any problems with them (I can’t quite recall if there’s been any “interactions” between one another on Twitter or not), but it’ll be interesting to hear any of the chairs (speakers) from there harp on about “things nuclear” from the perspective of non-defense. I’m looking forward to that snooze-fest, if they’re presenting.
However, I guess one of the advantages of attending a conference is the supposed necessity of networking with people that you normally wouldn’t cross paths with on a daily basis. Not necessarily for the purpose of “getting a job” but really for the purpose of making oneself “known” amongst others. The hell with all of that social networking nonsense. On the really, you have to get out there. Some people frequent conferences because they get the chance to spend a few days focused particularly on what’s happening in their respective field. I’m not on that tip (nh). It’s purely curiosity as far as I’m concerned. And I look forward to the awkward moments interspersed with informal conversations. A lot of people try their damndest to be fly and avoid the awkward moments but I’m one of those good-weird individuals (we’re all weird–either you’re good-weird or bad-weird) that longs to chat with people that are working on stuff that’s similar to what I’m working on. Exactly how confident are they on the subject matters they choose to share with others? One of the cornerstones of creativity is the artful advantage of engaging in informal conversation with people you may not otherwise associate with on a regular basis. I just hope the conversations won’t be too spontaneous in which I’ll find myself surrounded by World of Warcraft masters; people doing their impersonations of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory or worse–self-proclaimed academic luminaries bragging about the twenty-odd articles they’ve had published that no one’s heard of nor read. Yet, nothing is more advantageous than having face-to-face discussions and discourse.
This is going to be one hell of an experience.
* Update as of February 18th, 2013 *
Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend this conference but I am making plans on attending others. Exactly which ones? I do not know as of yet but you can count on me to reveal exactly which conferences I intend on attending here on “Yeah, Man…”.