Gordon Research Conference, Les Diablerets: In the late 1920’s, the Chemistry department at Johns Hopkins, pioneered…

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 Talks are “off the record” to encourage communication of unpublished data.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 🙂

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76 Responses to Gordon Research Conference, Les Diablerets: In the late 1920’s, the Chemistry department at Johns Hopkins, pioneered…


  1. those places are really adorable    

  2. Chad Haney says:


    Nice. I missed out on the MRI Gordon conference this summer :(.

  3. Mark Hogan says:


    Congratulations and the location seems very relaxing although I’m sure the work was hard !

  4. Rajini Rao says:


    Chad Haney , was in in New England? Most are..there are only a few locations in Europe.

  5. Mary W. says:


    I’m in the wrong career after viewing these photos!!! Great photo album, Rajini Rao!

  6. Chad Haney says:


    Rajini Rao New England if I remember. I didn’t know they were having it until I stumbled upon the call for abstracts etc. I hope they do it again.


  7. what a beautiful place! thanks for sharing..

  8. Rajini Rao says:


    Thanks, Mary Owens and Mark Hogan . Underneath the pretty pictures is some serious science, but it was an awesome experience all the same.


  9. great collection of photos and by seeing this photos i would say that u really enjoyed..

  10. Rajini Rao says:


    Well, it is put to vote Feisal Kamil , although I can use my persuasive skills 🙂

  11. Tom Lee says:


    Rajini Rao Very beautiful and exotic scenery/pictures. Besides, I’m  also impressed with picture of The Lady In Red blending in with the scenery. I’m sure you did enjoy the conference. The speech was a little long but you made it back safely.

  12. Chad Haney says:


    Rajini Rao you mean lasso?

  13. Mary W. says:


    What camera did you use .Rajini Rao?

  14. Rajini Rao says:


    Haha, Canon EOS with a zoom lens.

  15. Mary W. says:


    On my Christmas list to purchase!!

  16. Rajini Rao says:


    It’s a light digital camera, Mary Owens and practically idiot proof 🙂

  17. Bill Collins says:


    You have four years to get ready. Congratulations!

  18. Rajini Rao says:


    You are too kind Monika Ljubičić , the camera does not capture my messy hair 🙂 Bill Collins , I’m going to start schmoozing the industry magnates right away 😉 If you know any, please be sure to pass along names so I can ambush approach them.


  19. I have one word for you for 2016:   Asilomar   (http://www.visitasilomar.com/).  Perhaps over-used, but the scenery is hard to beat.

  20. Rajini Rao says:


    William McGarvey , Asilomar is spectacular indeed. I did post pictures from an ATPase meeting there, last Sept I believe. Monterey is a beautiful part of California. You’re right, it is heavily in demand …not sure if it is on the GRC list.

  21. Mary W. says:


    I vote for Orcas Island, Washington!!! It’s beautiful there!

  22. Rajini Rao says:


    Is that part of Olympia (?) National Park, Mary Owens ? The one that is a temperate rain forest.

  23. DaFreak says:


    May I suggest the exotic location of Belgium where the cars roam wild in dense jungles of concrete? Take in the busy atmosphere and embrace the noise. Stunning street light pollution makes sure that those pesky stars will never ever trouble you. If you weren’t convinced yet; our air is famous around the world for exceeding fine dust norms! Don’t you just love the smell of exhaust in the morning? 🙂


    I am pretty sure you can do better than Belgium. :p – But in all seriousness; congratz and good luck!


  24. Rajini Rao No, north of there, towards the Canadian border, the Orcas are a whole series of islands.  The movie Five Easy Pieces with Nicholson was shot there, for reference.


  25. Koen De Paus You clearly don’t waffle in your enthusiasm for Belgium…


  26. Good night, Feisal Kamil  — sleep well.

  27. Rajini Rao says:


    Great to be back, missed the Incorrigibles, Feisal Kamil . Hope you are back on the mend.

  28. Rajini Rao says:


    Koen De Paus , I once had to organize a conference in Baltimore. The challenge was to find a “cultural” event, lol! After much thought, I found a boat on the harbor that took us for a sunset cruise. That sounds a lot better than it really was 🙂

  29. DaFreak says:


    Oh man, you should have made your own cultural event! You could have staged a play where you crazy bioscientists pretend to be organelles and act out the story of cell division. An epic adventure where the massive ensmble has to come together and help each other to overcome all difficulties. You could have introduce evil “others”, bad proteins that try to mess up the process to give it an edge of your seat finale! You really missed out on that one. 😦 – I would have payed good money to see that! :p 


    I should totally become a director or something. This is what the world is waiting for! ^^


  30. Rajini Rao Congratulations, Chair !


    Wonderful photos. Especialy i like Poppy.


    Can say nothing about it’s color. Maybe Peter Lindelauf…( :


    p.s. https://plus.google.com/116180064933757180493/posts/Rnurb2pSaQe 

  31. Mary W. says:


    Rajini Rao, Orcas Island is one of several islands that make up the San Island Islands. It is a eye view from British Columbia. An amazing place…spend many summers there as a child.

  32. Rajini Rao says:


    Koen De Paus , how did you guess? When we got into the tiny cable cars, we joked that we were entering endosomal vesicles that would track along tubulin cables (microtubules) to get to the Golgi stacks (bar on top of the mountain) 🙂


  33. You are ‘jolie comme un coeur’ in red.  Welcome back, dearheart.  You were missed.


    How dare they let their cows freely graze, it must be unsanitary, lock ’em up, I say! Teehee.  We lived close to the French Alps for about ten years.  It was so great to go wandering about in the super fresh air, and out of nowhere, hear a cow bell. So invigorating and melodic.

  34. Rajini Rao says:


    Thank you, Michelle Beissel , I had to use Google Translate to be sure. You can imagine how I bungled my way with my miserable French. It’s a wonder I managed to catch all those trains/buses/vans with Swiss precision timing of 5 minutes for transfers. Lots of smiling and Merci’s helped.

  35. Rajini Rao says:


    Peter Lindelauf , let me tell you about the chloride channel session when the German Titan came to virtual blows with the American Olympians. It was most entertaining. I got into a bit of trouble when I came to the rescue of a poor student who was put in the hot seat by a senior scientist. The venerable professor turned to me from the front row (I was in back with the trouble makers and riff raff) and said that he would “talk” to me later. The folks around me snickered that I was being summoned to his office after class 😛

  36. Kawthar A says:


    Very beautiful shots indeed!! 🙂


    Welcome back Rajini & you really have been missed 🙂

  37. Rajini Rao says:


    How nice of you to say so, thanks Kawthar AL ABDALLA 🙂

  38. Todd Settimo says:


    Beautiful photo. You could also submit it for #mountainmonday 😉

  39. Brent Neal says:


    Rajini Rao – congrats on being elected chair!

  40. Rajini Rao says:


    Thanks, Brent Neal , Aida Hazlan and Todd Settimo ! As for being future chair, perhaps sympathies may be more apropos? 🙂

  41. Rajini Rao says:


    Ready for Monday morning, Feisal Kamil ? 🙂


  42. These are beautiful photo’s Rajini Rao! Thank You for sharing!

  43. Chad Haney says:


    Good morning Feisal Kamil feeling better?


  44. really nice pics….I wish u could have captured the cat sitting on the podium…u could’t manage a camera in half an hour????

  45. Chad Haney says:


    Sudhanshu Pathania a lot of conferences get upset when you take a photo during a talk. At an “off the record” conference, I imagine it’s even more of a faux pas.

  46. Rajini Rao says:


    No cameras or recording devices during seminar, Sudhanshu Pathania . What if I passed along unpublished findings to a competitor 😉


  47. no cameras allowed but cats are most welcome to join…. at least they won’t pass unpublished findings to others  😉


     

  48. Chad Haney says:


    Especially if it is Schrödinger’s cat.

  49. Jim McGuire says:


    Rajini Rao, I have talked to one of my peers at another company, and they attended a past Gordon conference and confirmed that the content is indeed “deep”.  Congratulations, and good luck with this substantial undertaking.


  50. As long as that camera is idiot proof….it is on my Christmas list too. Now for the real question …does it take better images than than the iphone 4s (Ha…I am assuming the answer is a big Yes?)


  51. Luck!


    Hope your conference trends like crazy.


  52. 🙂 So I hope that means I can work the darn thing there Feisal Kamil 🙂

  53. Rajini Rao says:


    Way better than the iPhone4S, Cheryl Ann MacDonald, Psy’D. 🙂 It is a Canon EOS Rebel T3i and I use an EFS 18-55 mm zoom lens. It has easy video capabilities too and various auto and manual modes.


  54. I just use a point and shooter.  Perhaps I need to upgrade?

  55. Rajini Rao says:


    Michelle Beissel , the Canon Rebel can be point and click too in automatic mode. It depends if you’re happy with your camera resolution.


  56. My blog photos seem clear/sharp enough to me, but perhaps that’s just me, but what I am not satisfied with is that I am stuck with one lens, unlike with a dslr.

  57. Rajini Rao says:


    Good point, Michelle Beissel . A zoom lens gives you more artistic freedom to frame your image the way you want.

  58. Deeksha Tare says:


    Amazing pics Rajini Rao !!


    Would look at all more closely after I finish these never- ending assignments…. sigh


    (that sounds kinda contradictory)!!

  59. Rajini Rao says:


    Flatterererer! Gnotic Pasta 🙂


  60. Wonderful series of photos. I love les Diablerets.

  61. Rajini Rao says:


    Thank you, Marie Hélène Visconti . You’ve been there, I take it! 


  62. Rajini Rao Yes, twice. One in summer and one in summer.


  63. я подписалас добавила спасибо.

  64. M Kumar says:


    Excellent views…flashed back my memories while in europe. Very soothing.

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