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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Trip to Germany: Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research [20141016|20:03]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
[Tags|, , , , , , ]
[coordinates |the heart of Germany]
[the weather today is |floppy]
[with a hint of |covenant - dead stars]

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>

This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/948077.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.

[User Picture]From: againstathorn
2014-10-16 21:35 (UTC)
This is so cool! And I love the panoramic shot!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2014-10-17 20:17 (UTC)
It's a fantastic building. All the staff scientists who've moved there look quite happy, and I can see why!
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[User Picture]From: purplecthulhu
2014-10-17 00:11 (UTC)
There's a lot I like about the way Germany does science. The institute day care centre sounds fantastic!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2014-10-17 20:19 (UTC)
It's not often that you see both architectural show-off bling AND an effective attempt to meet long-term needs of staff in the same building. Beautiful and practical: more like this, please.
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[User Picture]From: purplecthulhu
2014-10-18 00:23 (UTC)
I can't speak to the childcare aspects, but I can say that architectural bling is much more common in the German astronomy institutes I have a connection with than pretty much anywhere else. And not just in astronomy.

Given all that's happening in UK science right now the temptation to try to head back to Germany is growing.
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[User Picture]From: mysterysquid
2014-10-17 07:08 (UTC)
Creche! Nice. :D The whole place looks amazing.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2014-10-17 20:22 (UTC)
Yes, creche! Such a good and progressive idea, and frustratingly still not very commonplace.
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[User Picture]From: major_clanger
2014-10-17 20:38 (UTC)
You can tell that you're in Germany, because your salad is topped with a large slice of pig.

You can tell that you're not in Bavaria, because you can still see the salad under the pig.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2014-10-19 20:27 (UTC)
Ahaha, yes. The pig was delicious, but I was grateful for the bed of leaves after the meaty lunch and before the schnitzel supper.
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[User Picture]From: enterlinemedia
2014-10-19 01:46 (UTC)
The first picture makes it look like you have a cyborg leg, but I looked and saw your leg behind that probe (it was the probe leg in front of yours)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2014-10-19 20:34 (UTC)
A cyborg leg with a built-in harpoon anchor and ice screw would, I have to admit, be pretty cool.
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