By Matin Durrani
It’s time for me to bow out of the LT25 low-temperature conference here in Amsterdam, which has just ended. The cool crowd will reconvene in three years’ time for LT26, which, I can reveal, will take place in Beijing, at a venue next to the current Olympic park. It’ll be the first time that China will host this triennial shindig.
Conference organiser Peter Kes from the University of Leiden gave some amusing insights into organising a conference of this scale, which saw a staggering 1482 participants. For example, stuffing the massive 380-page (double-sided) conference brochure into delegates’ shoulder bags required a small army of students, who hit a peak rate of 450 bags stuffed per hour.
Then there were the logistics of bussing 640 delegates on a trip to the University of Leiden to see the lab where Heike Kamerlingh Onnes won the race against Scottish physicist James Dewar to liquefy helium 100 years ago last month. Plus sorting out the conference dinner for nearing 600 people, which included hiring a flotilla of nine boats for the trip from the conference halls into town.