Both the ACS and APS seem to have used the ‘Eeny, meeny, miny, moe’ principle to assign session rooms at their spring meetings. Most of the sessions in Atlanta are held in the gargantuan Georgia World Congress Center, which is undoubtedly visible from orbit – just getting from one session to the next requires hiking boots, a compass and a couple of Power Bars.
Location aside, the biggest issue is space. At the Meijer award symposium on Sunday, not only were all of the seats filled, but the audience were standing three deep at the back of the room and more were sat on the floor at the front. When I went to some organic sessions on Monday, there were no more than 15 people in a room twice the size!
Even if you are lucky enough to get a seat in the popular sessions, let’s hope you like the people sat next to you… the seats are linked together just like they were at elementary school, and unless you have a supermodel figure (and I haven’t seen too many of those here), you get to know your neighbours quite well. And as with every other ACS meeting I’ve attended, the seats are specially designed to make you lose all feeling in the lower half of your body – almost certainly a ploy to stop you from getting up and leaving the talks…
Stuart Cantrill (Associate Editor, Nature Nanotechnology)