Recently I attended the American Astronomical Society’s 225th conference in Seattle, WA. Even though the conference is a week long, I was only in attendance for one day.
I had a great time on my one day in Seattle; it was very full, and several people stopped by to see my poster. I also had meetings with other astronomers from around the country.
One encounter stuck out while speaking with someone at my poster. Even though he and I had an interest in the same science, he had never heard of me, nor seen my work. I actually expect this when I encounter people. I am under no illusion that my papers stand out from the dozens that get posted on astro-ph every day. Furthermore, I only have a small few papers. So, I was not surprised when he did not know me. By chance, I recalled his name from having read his paper, so in that way it was a little lopsided.
In any case, my point is that he would never have seen my work if I had not met him at the conference. We had a good conversation, and because he seemed genuinely interested, I followed up with him by sending an email the week after the conference.
The week after the conference I was laid out with a cold. This was very frustrating for me, because I couldn’t focus on anything to get work done. I did manage to bring my wits about me enough to apply for a couple jobs, so that was productive.
Speaking of . . . I’m really hoping to get a good job offer this year, because I’m trying to solve a two-body problem. Even though the nature of post-doc-hood and academia isn’t particularly partner friendly, I have to say that the people I have met within astronomy have all been understanding of the issue and have tried to be flexible to accommodate my situation.
This week I plan to go visit a colleague at another university. I am hoping to brainstorm a good ALMA proposal to take advantage of my Chilean observer status. While I am there I will give a talk to a general science audience. I like these kinds of talks, because they tend to be concept-oriented. I am looking forward to the week, but putting together the talk will take a bit of time. Next week I will have to get back to my narrow-line seyfert 1 data, so I can have some good results for the upcoming conference in March!
Phew, catch ya later