Great Minds

MindsGreat Minds: EUROMAR-2016.
EUROMAR is the largest annual conference on everything MRI, EPR and many other absorbing topics. Over one thousand participants get together to make presentations, listen to lectures and reports, and attend the awards ceremony. Well-known firms like Brucker, Jeol come to show their products to this impressive gathering. One of the most important functions of any conference is of course face-to-face meetings and multiple discussions that take place all around the venue during this busy week. One can listen to much revered top scientists in the field in the afternoon, and then have a vigorous exchange of opinions with the ever-growing groups of young researchers eager to air their ideas and share their concerns with more experienced colleagues. Well-known professors from different countries talk about the need to engage young newcomers in serious research and determine the possible future joint projects, the latter being a constant and necessary part of any dedicated scientist’s work. All the more mature participants I talk to agree that there is a need to educate their students and prospective colleagues. One can see all the ages communicate eagerly and easily because they speak the same language. “It is great to feel a part of this huge exchange, of this community, I can use all the necessary terminology and never think of not being understood because I am among my own kind of people!” This unique community spirit is a large factor in making science and research more attractive to the younger generation. Everybody I hear understands perfectly that in the beginning things may be quite tough. There is not too much money in academia; if one conducts experiments there are no regular hours either. When two young researchers start a family, they have to solve not only lots of financial problems, but also decide who goes first: somebody has to take care of the baby, and baby-sitters are too expensive. But those problems can be solved if one approaches them rationally. One of the partners may put their academic career on hold for a short time, and it does not mean that it is always a woman. Difficulties become twice easier when they are equally shared. One can see lots of young enthusiastic faces around,some of them with babies in tow. This has become quite common in recent years. “Science is so cool, all the rest pales in comparison! We experiment with MRI, and we can not only save many lives but also connect the previously separate branches of science and find something totally new! Have you seen that presentation on protein structure? Awesome! And those dudes working with para-hydrogen are way cool! Look at that, we never thought the old catalytic reactions could be used this way!” Though the jargon is irresistibly today’s young speech interspersed with a lot of computer abbreviated modern talk, one can see the intelligence in the sparkling eyes, in the animated faces, and in the desire to communicate and share. Naturally young people talk not only science but life in general. During a break most of them are on their communication devices clicking, checking their messages, scrolling down the screen for news or looking up some terms. And in the evening, like the whole planet, everybody gets together outside in front of a large screen to watch football. “I wish I could split into two… No, three, because I want to attend several concurrent sessions at once! Guys, has anybody thought of cloning yet?”
And so it goes.

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