The best six days EVER, part two

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Realised halfway through writing the entry that it was ruh-heeeeally long, so I’ve split it into three parts (11/12 Sep, 13/14 Sep, 15/16 Sep).

courtney_cspark More judging today, then a museum visit and lecture. Soooo tired after last night (but worth it!) –8:15 AM Sep 13th from txt

Just an overview of the day to come. One of my tweets seems to have not sent; the museum was the Musée des arts et métiers and the lectures were from two scientists from EIROforum facilities. The European Molecular Biology Laboratory lecture given by Jacopo Lucci was Greek to me (though had some funny pictures in it), but the one given by Paula Stella Teixeira of the European Southern Observatory on stellar and planetary formation was very interesting.

courtney_cspark Just had my first judging session – it went okay and he was very friendly (but I still need to work on speaking clearly!) –9:05 AM Sep 13th from txt

In addition to jury members coming round, there were national organisers and researchers (with members of the public and schools coming round during certain sessions) – one person advised me to speak more slowly and pause at the end of sentences. I think more than anything else attending EUCYS helped me with talking to people whose first language wasn’t English!

courtney_cspark Just had 2nd judging, again nice but don’t think my project is what they’re looking for (ie someone has prob done this sort of study before) –9:54 AM Sep 13th from txt

This particular judge asked me how my project was original – despite saying that the studies I did hadn’t been carried out by the ACoRNE collaboration before and acoustic detection of neutrinos was a fairly new field (i.e. people HAVE studied marine mammals and hydrophone characteristics before, just not in this context) she seemed unconvinced. It didn’t really matter too much since I wasn’t there to win, but it did leave me feeling a little annoyed.

courtney_cspark 3rd judge was nice (note to self, learn new adjective) + seemed interested. Now appear to be ‘the girl with the neutrinos’ –10:00 AM Sep 13th from txt

I’ve been told my superhero name is Neutrino Girl (fear her ability to travel through any medium virtually unimpeded?), so when two people referred to me with the above moniker I knew it would stick.

courtney_cspark Student helpers put on some great trips for us yesterday – Notre Dame + Montmartre (started at Sacre Coeur + ended at Moulin Rouge…) –9:13 AM Sep 14th from txt

They were really great; I wouldn’t have seen half the stuff I did without the student helpers organising jaunts out to various landmarks. It meant we got to see Paris as if we were tourists, in addition to being in the city for a specific purpose.

courtney_cspark 5th judge has shown I am definitely not good enough to do research (especially on slightly/completely crazy neutrino detection methods!) –9:42 AM Sep 14th from txt

Oh dear – most people had at least one dodgy jury session, me being no exception. This one let me explain half of my project, then exclaimed his disbelief, then spent five minutes reading my poster, then said “thank you” and left. Hmph. (I still doubt I’m good enough for research though, but I don’t think that’s just because of him!)

courtney_cspark 6th judge was a lot nicer, very enthusiastic. A few of us just walked along Champs d’Elysses to Arc du Triomphe –12:54 PM Sep 14th from txt

It was always nice when jury members enquired about what university you were heading to, what your future plans were, etc. (Heck, after jury member 5 I was just glad the rest let me finish talking!) The walk along the Champs d’Elysses was another lunchtime trip organised by the student helpers – it’s a famous shopping street that leads to the Arc du Triomphe. A few members of the group forged ahead and climbed the steps of the Arc to get a 360 degree view of Paris, while the rest of us went for a stroll back along the street.

courtney_cspark 7th judge wasn’t a physicist, but seemed interested + wished me luck. Tonight’s round table includes Fields Medallist, atomic physicist + spationaut! —1:48 PM Sep 14th from txt

I had seven jury members come round in total – the norm was five or six, but some people had even more than seven! The round table included Wendelin Werner (Fields Medallist), Jean Dalibard (atomic physicist), Claudie Haigneré (spationaut) and Pascale Cossart (bacteriologist). There was also a representative of the EU Commission. Very interesting discussions took place, with many young scientists asking questions. After, we had dinner at the nearby Café de la musique, with music provided by the Original Jackass Band and a few of the more co-ordinated among us taking to the dance floor!

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