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Ingrid Gregor | DESY | Germany

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A hitchhiker’s guide to the conference galaxy

Entrance of the Ecole de Physique of the Universite de Geneve - venue of the first two days of the EUDET Annual Meeting 2009.

Entrance of the Ecole de Physique of the Universite de Geneve - venue of the first two days of the EUDET Annual Meeting 2009.

Clearly, it is meeting and conference season! A lot of the recent blog entries were about interesting meetings at nice places around the world.
One of the nice meetings each fall in the last few years is the EUDET annual meeting, currently ongoing at the University of Geneva and CERN. Yes, I am in Geneva again. But as the first two days of the meeting are at the University, I get something else to see than the CERN site. I was reminded ones more, that Geneva is a beautiful city. And the weather (cold but sunny) was having an additional positive impact.
The University of Geneve is actually already 450 years old and the meeting are taking place in a nice older building with a classical auditorium. Martin Pohl, one of the organisers of this meeting and professor at this University, gave an overview on science in Switzerland and especially in Geneva. And with this talk he convinced us impressively that Geneva is not “only” the home of CERN.
The EUDET meeting is 2 1/2 days long. On Monday, the first day, we spend all day in parallel sessions to have the opportunity to discuss our joint research activities in detail. In “my” session we talked all day about the EUDET telescope and its future and also had a number of telescope users reporting on their experiences and their first results. We had a lively discussions and I think all of us learned something on Monday.
Yesterday and today are filled with plenary sessions with overviews on all this activities, but also some view to the future. EUDET is now in its forth year and will be finished at the end of 2010. So we started already some time ago to discuss what could follow after this. And this is of course the main topics during the coffee breaks or also at dinner as we have to get the proposals for this future ready in the next couple of weeks.
Last night we had the conference dinner. A conference dinner is not just a dinner for eating something nice, but at the dinner you can get a feeling for a collaboration. You meet people in a relaxed atmosphere and get to talk in a
less surrounding. Our hosts in Geneva selected a very nice venue, the restaurant “De L’arquebuse La Broche”. This is actually a place I would never go to when being in Geneva as from the outside (and also inside) it looks so Posh that I would be afraid to loose a considerable fraction of a month’s salary to pay my dinner. But our host must have found a way to convince them to offer a nice dinner for all of us for a still reasonable price.
And we had reason to celebrate. The EUDET project was proposed roughly 5 years ago. The inventors at that point thought of a nice program to enhance the infrastructure for detector research towards a linear collider within Europe. At this year’s meeting we could see that we reached alread 95% of the goals set 5 years ago! And we still have some time to reach the remaining 5%. A very good reason to celebrate!

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