As I write this, I’m sitting in Incheon airport in Korea. I am very tired and, once again, courtesy of the International Date Line I’m slightly confused as to what day it is. The reason for my travelling shenanigans this time was the General Assembly of the IAU – arguably the world’s largest astronomical conference, and a good opportunity for unashamed scientific nerdery, shameless attempts to promote one’s own research and occasional indulgences. And being as this was held in Waikiki, Honolulu, the price of literally everything is rather indulgent, quite frankly★.
Overall, this was a great conference and a good experience. I had some productive conversations, met up with some old friends, made some fantastic new friends, and finally had the chance to visit some of the observatories in Hilo♣︎.
At the same time, however, it wasn’t all sunshine and mai tais. This conference seems to have highlighted a number of concerning things in astronomy right now (this, for example) and left me with quite a lot of food for thought. I have plenty of things to mull over, but gathering my thoughts is probably best left till a time when I’m a little less run down. Unfortunately, I have to be at another conference in Tokyo about 10 hours after my flight lands, so I’m not sure precisely when that may be. No rest for the wicked, I suppose.
★ People always seem to think that Tokyo is an expensive city. Compared to Honolulu, it’s really not!
♣︎ I didn’t get to visit Mauna Kea, unfortunately. But that’s another story…