Blogging ICHEP 2010

A collective forum about the 35th edition of
the International Conference on High Energy Physics (Paris, July 2010)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Social programming

Ever attended a physics conference before? Then you should know that the most important moments are neither the plenary nor the parallel sessions, but... coffee breaks! Presentations at plenary sessions are often funny and entertaining; talks at parallel sessions is where one can really learn the details of any remote analysis. But for the gory details, the internal gossips, the questions one does not dare to ask in public, and everything that cannot be said in front of a formal audience but that is important to get to know, coffee-break-chats are what one needs. Alternatively, one can similarly profit of being seated at the right table during the conference dinner, or to participate to the right social events.

Now, this year ICHEP is proposing an impressive social program: apart for the usual welcome reception, we will get a concert in the Salon of the "Hôtel de Ville" of Paris on Friday, we can choose among several different visits of Paris on Sunday, we will be able to visit the Grande Galerie de l'Évolution on Tuesday and have dinner there, not to speak of the Nuit des particules. The conference secretariat just emailed me, asking to choose two of the different visits scheduled on Sunday. I have been in Paris more than once and already visited all the locations the program is proposing, so I guess I should instead choose according to a conference-coffee-break criterion. Where would I be able to come across the most succulent gossips? Where will I most likely learn the most by informally chatting during the visit? What would be the spot to attract the conference VIP's? Tour Eiffel? Opéra de Paris? The Jacquemart-André Museum? The "Cité des Sciences"? The Marais neighborhood? The Panthéon? Where do you plan to go?

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