i volunteered at the european science open forum (ESOF) 2012 which took place 11-15 july here in dublin. 5 nobel laureates, 500 big-whig science speakers, and 1,000s of enthusiastic delegates descended on the city for one of the largest science conventions on the continent, which takes place every two years in a different european city. as a volunteer, i was able to attend the sessions outside of my shifts, which allowed me to listen to personal heros of mine such as jocelyn bell burnell (discovered pulsars) and brian greene (author of the elegant universe). while on-shift, i worked in-theatre and was able to listen to speakers on topics that i normally would not have sought out, such as arctic climate change.
the forum also brought in NASA administrator, major general charles bolden. in addition to his ESOF keynote address, he gave a less formal talk at trinity college. obviously, i attended both. in case it wasn’t public knowledge, i am a huge admirer of this man. his vision for NASA is so ambitious but he speaks with such passion that it becomes your vision too. and if it becomes the vision of enough people, then damnit, we WILL be on mars in 30 years. he spoke a bit about curiosity and naturally that’s when i began to get emotional (george lands in 13 days!).