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It’s about 85 degrees in Boston and I got a sunburn walking into work – this means that the summer is officially here. OK – I know the first day of summer is still a few weeks away, but the sun is shining and it’s time for me to start thinking about summer conferences.

If you say the words ‘summer conference’ to a group of scientists, I bet many of them think of the Gordon Research Conferences: you are whisked away with 100-150 other scientists to hear about exciting (and often unpublished) research for several days. Many of these conferences are in high schools or small colleges in New England, but don’t let the Spartan accommodations or the cafeteria food deter you from coming – I’ve only been to a few GRCs, but I’ve had a fantastic time at every one…

This summer I’m 99% sure I’ll be attending the Natural Products GRC and the Bioorganic GRC – I’d love to go to the Enzymes, Coenzymes & Metabolic Pathways GRC and the Organometallic GRC, but I’d be out of the office for the month of July, and I don’t think our authors (or my wife) would really like it if I was gone that long. Maybe next year the conference organizers will spread them out a bit…

Other summer conferences that look good include the RSC Organocatalysis conference (in early July), EuroBIC (also in early July), and the annual Protein Society meeting (in early August).

What conferences are you going to this summer? We’re always interested in hearing about exciting conferences, so if you’ve been to that conference in previous years, why do you like it? What keeps you coming back? (And please feel free to shamelessly promote a conference you’re organizing…)

If you’re at any of these conferences, keep an eye out for me – maybe we can chat about your research over a pint or two…


Joshua Finkelstein (Associate Editor, Nature)