Jay (brian1789) wrote,

LPSC this year...

My poster session went OK last night, I had 26 people stop by, eight longer discussions and one potential collaboration. This is more yield than from a typical oral presentation in a session, which is why I prefer the posters at this meeting. Otherwise, the participants are demographically shifting… 15 years ago, this was a gathering of a few hundred, almost a NASA-in-house planetary sciences meeting held at the JSC gym, with a BBQ and free beer and T-shirts at the posters. It was easy to recognize a third of the people. This year it is 2000 people at a conference center in a synthetic town north of Houston, and dominated by university co-investigators with their retinues of grad students and post-docs. Given sequestration and NASA travel restrictions, there are hardly any NASA or JPL folks here this year, I was one of just five people allowed from my NASA center (Ames). But that only accelerates a trend of diminishing participation. And industry disappeared years ago… there are no papers from, say, Lockheed or Ball Aerospace or even SpaceX on mission ideas. I hardly recognize anyone this year, besides a handful of non-NASA marquee-level folks in the community. And there is way more brightly-colored hair this year. ;-)

I'm not sad about LPSC becoming more like a mini-AGU, and I enjoy watching grad students nervously put up part of their research in front of hundreds. And it keeps me in touch with new directions and developments. But with the increased meeting size, I do miss the collegiality of the old LPSC from the 90s. Cliques now rule, university clumps and mission clumps, and if you don't have a friend in one of these it is difficult to find dinner companions anymore. (wry grin) Even as I enjoy the crayfish, in season here, and BBQ.

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