ACS: Going the distance

Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the drug store, but that’s just peanuts to space.

This Douglas Adams quote was one of the first things that popped into my head when I entered the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Simply put, the building is huge: “516,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space” with “3 exhibition halls each ranging in size from 162,000 to 184,000 square feet.”

After looking at the floorplan, I realized that it would be pretty tough to rapidly hop from session to session – the convention center has two skybridges that you need to use if you’re moving from the west side of the building to the east side of the building, so it can take 10 to 15 minutes to get from one session to another. This must be why the refrigerator in the press office was packed full of bottles of Gatorade/Powerade…

The first day of the ACS was great (more about the science in my next post), but I’ve yet to find a good place to grab coffee that doesn’t have a huge line at all hours of the day – on my way to the afternoon session I saw people crowded around a table containing snacks and coffee. Alas, the giant drum of coffee was decaf! I saw another table further down the corridor, but it too contained only decaf coffee. Oh cruel world, why must you mock me so?


Joshua Finkelstein (Senior Editor, Nature)