The biannual FASEB Summer Conference in Inner Retinal Circuitry Biology alternates years with the the Chemistry of Vision FASEB meeting. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these are my favorite meetings… They are small, intimate affairs with a very high level of science where you get to know just about everyone and their work and the meetings are linear so you get to see all the presentations.
The FASEB Summer Conferences are also kinda like a cult in that the meetings are structured to begin early in the morning and run till late in the evening. All meals are taken with your colleagues and the meetings are held in fairly isolated places to encourage discussion. The meetings go for 6 days so it can be tiring, especially as I don’t think sleep was ever achieved before 1am, a schedule fairly typical of FASEB. Regardless, you always come back to the lab absolutely stoked with lots of new information and new ideas.
This years meeting was held in Saxtons River, Vermont at the Vermont Academy. The Vermont Academy sits on quite a bit of property that is ideal for exploration, running and light hiking. There are frogs, salamanders, invertebrates of all kinds and fungus that would delight any mycologist on the grounds surrounding the academy. My brother in law, a mycologist would have loved visiting here. For a treat, hike up to the Academy cabins that sit at the end of a lovely meadow. I had one of the best 30 minute naps in my life after a four hour hike through the surrounding woods up there and awoke to squirrels staring at me, likely wondering if I were dead.
Had we more time, spending more time up at the cabin meadow at night would have made for some absolutely spectacular night time shots of the stars, star trails and the Milky Way.
Oh, and don’t forget to look for the people *in* the trees. Its a little disconcerting the first time you see them, but they are all over the place up above the school.
As I said before, the meetings were spectacular and there are many, many photographs of the people involved in the meeting. Far more photographs than can be displayed in this particular entry, so for my FASEB peeps who are interested in more images, you can get them in a folder here or as a complete zip file here (35MB). And of course, there are the FASEB SRC soccer match that can be seen here.
And yes… When I got up on stage, I made a picture of the audience. I think this is something that should become a tradition.
Of course there are other opportunities to get together to continue the discussion outside of the presentations and poster sessions themselves. The aforementioned meal times are one opportunity as are the after evening session social get togethers. At the Saxtons River meetings, one of the social centers turned out to be the bed and breakfast I was staying at, the Saxtons River Inn where they have a proper restaurant and bar downstairs.
It was a great meeting with lots of good discussion and I look forward to the next FASEB SRC meeting.