The food at scientific meetings is usually dreadful, and I often escape to some good nearby restaurant. That’s not necessary at these meetings, for the comestibles are good and laid on in quantity. There’s everything a vegetarian or meatitarian could want, all served buffet style. For lunch yesterday I had roast leg of lamb with real mashed potatoes and vegetables. I could have had fish or pasta, or all of the above.
There is an ample salad bar—three of them, actually, each with a different array of greens and toppings:
And everyone’s favorite: the dessert bar. Pecan pie, chocolate cake, cheesecake, ice cream, lemon bars, custard— all you can eat. (Note: the Brits say “all you care to eat” when touting buffets. That’s a telling cultural difference that bespeaks American gluttony and British reserve.)
With such largesse it’s hard to be abstemious, or keep to a diet.
I’ll have a window seat, please, so I can watch the Rockies as I dine:
I ‘ll have more to say on the science stuff later; today’s the big all-day speciation symposium (I speak last, at 4 p.m.).
One thing that distinguishes science from humanities talks is that we’re all expected to speak without notes. That gives the talks a livelier and more extemporaneous air than talks in the humanities and social sciences, which are often read from a manuscript. For the life of me I don’t understand why academics do that. Reading from a piece of paper is boring, there is no engagement with the audience, and all too often written prose doesn’t translate well to the spoken word. Let us have no more reading of papers in academia!