Neither science nor the ASC is just about science. Imagine the work carried out by the plethora of people here as some grand, migatory journey with this singular event here in Copenhagen as a mere migratory stop-off, a resting place to take stock, socialise with others, and feed on ideas. It's the physical manifestation of weeks, months, and years of email and online correspondence and meetings. Whilst many of the strategic groups and committees meet more regularly, it's those colleagues who communicate across national borders and institute that this proves most useful for.
As a scientific outsider, it's good to see that the ASC isn't just about individuals presenting their science and he ensuing discussion. It's also not just about the scientific dinosaurs (although it will be a long time yet before any go extinct), but about the rookies, those early careerers who are welcomed into the fold for the first time. This is why an informal lunchtime get together with a collection of the older-timers is beneficial. The stage and performance aspect makes way for a more recnogisable social one.
Here's what some of them had to say about the lunchtime session and picking the brains of their elders.
Karin van der Reijden, PhD student, Netherlands"Some advice given to me was just to try everything, and if it doesn't feel right then return to what does feel right. It's not about just setting a goal in the beginning but also having fun."
Atal Saha, PhD student, Norway
"I think it was a very important event here learning from experience people. I got some advice on how to network and expanding your field."
Melina Kourantidou, Phd student, Denmark
"I really enjoyed this early career scientists event and the conference itself. I spoke to one of the scientists about social sciences who jumped in her career from marine biology to policy and governance, working with coastal communities and things like that."
And now for one of the later career scientists...
"I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think I learned more from the students than they did from me. What we've got to do for young scientists is find a way that they can make contact and talk to people, the people they want to talk to. When you come here for the first time it's a bit daunting, I remember myself. All these old, famous guys around who you want to talk to, but you need some reason and some excuse to talk."