I spent last week at an academic conference in Brazil, where I presented in the International Summit on Organic Photovoltaic Stability. It was a totally exciting experience, an eye-opener into current worldwide industrial and academic research and it absolutely refreshed my enthusiasm for my work.
Brazil was humid and harrowing. The Brazilians are super friendly but super poor, which is difficult when you’re flicking between swanky hotels and the conference centre. I was the only student from my group, so I had to take good enough notes for everybody and have a lot of solo dinners. The other people presenting were from a whole range of countries and disciplines and had lots of interesting ideas and stories. There was a meating of minds at a symposium super where we spoke about everything from hot plates to hobbies. CSEM, the name in organic Brazilian solar cell research, invited us to visit them in their laboratorio in Belo Horizonte. Only a short (Fokker 50) propeller flight from Rio de Janeiro. What an experience the flight was! I sat next to a Portuguese man reading 50 shades of grey in English and ate a lot of free in-flight gummy sweets.
On the Sunday I went to the hippie market de ipanema, where I bought weird and wonderful gifts for my family.
After landing from Brazil, I jumped straight on the Heathrow Express to Paddington and hot-footed it across Hyde Park to present a talk on Communicating Physics Class of 2015. I spoke about arranging a ‘big’ event (off the back of g4g day @ Imperial) and the logistics of inviting school kids on campus. I’ve changed my slides into a PowerPoint form for non-mac users and you can find them here.