Good morning everyone and welcome to ERES 2015 hosted here at PSU! My name is Kimberly Cartier and I will be your live-blogger for the duration of the conference.
Thanks to everyone who is tuning in both here and at the Twitter Feed #ERES15. We’re beginning in only 15 short minutes and the ballroom is already filling up with excited (and sometimes sleepy) emerging researchers in exoplanet science, interesting posters, and slightly nervous organizing committee members. Your live blogger is perched in the front row, ready to capture all of the amazing discoveries presented by our participants and comment on how the day is going.
Our opening remarks will be starting in 15 minutes. Dr. Alex Wolszczan, the PSU astronomer who discovered the first exoplanets in 1992, will be introducing PSU Provost Dr. Nick Jones, who will be giving our opening remarks.
(personal note: I apologize in advance for any typos that occur while I’m live blogging. I will go over the posts at the end of the day and proofread more)
And here we go! Opening remarks: Dr. Wolszczan has taken the microphone and welcomes everyone to the PSU Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds and to ERES 2015. He has now passed things on to Provost Jones.
Provost Jones also welcomes everyone to the Nittany Lion Inn and to Penn State. Penn State has traditions that are over 100 years long, and a long history of outstanding philanthropic events. And now it’s the first of something great, and this tradition will continue at Cornell next year, and Yale after that. We bring together young researchers from around the country to share their work and network with peers that they wouldn’t otherwise meet.
Provost Jones remarks that he grew up and studied in an age of discovery – Voyager 1 and the first looks at the far reaches of our solar system. Now we are looking at the solar systems in the far reaches of the galaxy, places that most people can’t fathom.
Communication between peers is one of the main goals of this conference. The people that you meet early in your career at conferences like this can impact your life in the future in unexpected ways, and you shouldn’t take the value of networking for granted.
Penn State has had a long history of amazing discoveries in the sciences - from the fundamental feeding mechanisms of plants decades ago, to more recent amazing discoveries by grad students and undergraduates in the Department of Astronomy. Some of our discoveries are even getting international recognition. Discovery is one of the fundamental principles of Penn State, and the university is very proud to host the first ERES conference and pushing the boundaries of groundbreaking discoveries.
Participation in research at any level is valuable, and no contribution should be taken for granted. Despite the large size of this university, this place is a tight nit community, especially in the sciences. Collaboration on research can only further discoveries all around.
Many thanks to Dr. Eric Ford and the organizing committee for putting together this amazing conference. And many thanks to all of the participants for traveling from near and far to join us today.