Gordon Research Conference, Les Diablerets: In the late 1920’s, the Chemistry department at Johns Hopkins, pioneered by Neil Gordon, held a series of summer conferences. Located off site on Gibson island, Maryland, these unique conferences tackled “frontier topics” with animated discussions in an intimate environment.
• Wildly successful, the Gordon conferences now encompass hundreds of topics in pure and applied sciences. Talks are “off the record” to encourage communication of unpublished data. Nobel laureates rub shoulders with graduate students. Locations are remote and typically quite spartan (New England prep schools are a favorite!). Wifi is usually spotty. Afternoons are free for hiking and exploration, but the science schedule is intense and grueling: see http://www.grc.org/programs.aspx?year=2012&program=membtransp . The conference covered membrane transport proteins from plants to neuroscience, structure to mechanism and disease. I was elected Chair of the 2016 conference, so wish me luck with fund raising!
• I hope you enjoy my photos of the Swiss Alps in lieu of my usual #sciencesunday post. I wish I had my camera when a cat walked in on the talks, jumped on to the podium and watched the laser pointer intently for the next half hour! That would have been great for Caturday 🙂