Mad Scientess Jane Expat (nanila) wrote,
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

Trip to Germany: Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research

I've spent the last few days at a meeting in the new Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Goettingen, Germany. The building itself is pretty impressive, particularly the entrance hall, and the Philae lander model merited a selfie.

Here's a full view of Rosetta-plus-Philae (nearly the same size, definitely not the same scale), and those enormous, stunning wall images. They must've cost a bomb, but they're so worth it.

Panoramic view of the entrance hall. Includes scientists and engineers on a coffee break during the meeting. The two free-standing models of the Earth and the Sun with cutaway sections have tablets mounted on them, and you can learn Interesting Facts from them if you like.

The problem with leaving delicious trays of biscuits and fresh coffee on a table outside a meeting room is that they present a seemingly irresistible temptation to stray planetary scientists who aren't attending the meeting...

I didn't get to see much of Goettingen, sadly, because I opted to stay at a hotel near the Institute (about 3 km outside of the city centre) to minimize the distance I had to walk in the morning. I did make it out yesterday evening for the big group meal, and passed a shop selling Baumkuchen. It was too late for me to go in and purchase a Baumkuchen so instead I stood outside the shop window and drooled over it for a little while.

Pastry shop window (with Baumkuchen).

The meal was incredibly hearty. The photo below shows my starter. This salad was also available in a main course portion size. I shudder to think how big that plate would've been.

(That's a glass of alcohol-free weissbier, before anyone gets too worked up about my choice of liquid refreshment.)

Sitting across from my colleagues, who staunchly uphold the fine tradition of Mad Scientist Hair. BEST.

One additional awesome thing about the new Institute: There's a full-time creche (daycare) inside the building. Not just on the University campus. In the building. And the Institute's on-site library includes a children's section. Apparently there are a lot of female scientists who, when the Institute moved from its old site in Lindau, suddenly decided it was time to start a family. Interesting, no? <dry>

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Tags: cluster, germany, rosetta, science, space, travel, work

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