I find it very hard to pick a personal highlight of the nearly 10 days I have spent in Florence. Was it one of the great talks about really exciting science, within or outside my field? Or one of the numerous posters I looked at and chatted with the author? Or the pre-conference workshop on geothermal fluids? Or all the new people I’ve met? Or the catching up with old friends from all across the globe? Or the lovely city of Florence with all its historical gems? Or the fabulous Italian ice cream (my tip: Gelateria Vivili, next to the Basilica di Santa Croce)? I guess, all of these things made Goldschmidt 2013 an unforgettable experience for me.
However, there are two moments that will stick with me for some time. The first was the talk of Professor Sally Benson from the Global Climate and Energy Project, Stanford University. She gave a talk on how geochemists play crucial roles in improving energy efficiency, developing renewable energy resources (e.g. geothermal energy), finding and developing resources of rare metals used for high-tech applications (e.g. lithium, yttrium, europium) and reducing emissions from the burning of fossil fuels by capturing and storing CO2. Listening to her talk, I realised again, why I am enjoying working within the MINSC network so much. Not only do we get the chance of working on cutting-edge science with some of the best people in the field, but our research on scaling also contributes (even if it is just a tiny little bit) to help resolve some of the greatest challenges of our time.
The second moment I will not forget for a while was my visit of the tomb of Galileo Galilei in the Basilica di Santa Croce. It was an awe-inspiring moment, to stand there in this magnificent cathedral and to be looking at the last home of one of the leading people in the Scientific Revolution at the end of the Middle Ages. By advancing the knowledge of mathematics, physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology and medicine, Galileo and his contemporaries were setting the foundations of science as we know it.
I am very much looking forward to Goldschmidt 2014 in Sacramento and am sure we will all have an equally great time as we had last week!
Daniela Meier, University of Leeds