Waking up at 6am on the west coast is easy when you are on easter time! So it was a breeze to simply hop on the bus to the googleplex. On arrival, it's the usual food bonanza
Google offers free food to its employees and, being all guest on the Google campus, we get the same treatment! Having been a Google a few times (see my Google TechTalk on YouTube or on GoogleVideo), I went immediately for the food and sat down at a random table to learn as much as possible from the other participants. I clearly remember looking at people's names the night before and thinking I was really lucky to be around so many scientist, developers, personalities that are changing or have changed the way we look at science and the world in general.
Upon entering the GooglePlex, we were faced with the scary site of mugshots, and the reminder that no matter how much we drank last night, we did write on the boards a list of topics to be discussed!
On Day 1, as an introduction, a few people gave talks that had been selected by the organizers. Among the ones that stroke home were a talk on Energy Consumption (this is the document it was based on) from the creators of Howtoons , and one from Felice Frankel about the "Envisioning Science Program" that was absolutely stunning! Felice demonstrated how context can give great meaning to scientific images and, most importantly for me, how simple images can really be turned into education tools!
I did come to SciFoo with a strong interest in visualization and so I immediately joined the session on "Graphics Garage" where Felicia and others tried to give tips to others on how to present scientific information on the web. It was a real eye opener.
Carol Christian and myself showed an horrified crowed the state of astronomical data interfaces. I still remember that when we brought up Datascope (from the National Virtual Observatory) on the projector the crowed went: "
One of the most interesting aspects of SciFoo was the fact that conversations tended to start spontaneously among the campers: at meals, walking to talks, on the stairs, in the rest rooms!!!
And talking about restrooms, I must add that this is where I met Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder. As I was washing my hands, I noticed Sergey was just beside me and I sta
The second day ended with total exhaustion over dinner where more conversations about science, life, biology, environment, creative commons, software patents, etc... took place.