Dr Falkner Goes to Canberra – Day 1 (#smp2014 #AdelED #CORE)

Settling in to Canberra after a relaxing night in the hotel working (hooray for high-speed WiFi and good desks) and then hammering myself for an hour in the gym to make sure that I was really awake and ready for a power breakfast. (That’s secret Nick code for ‘bacon’)

The starting venue for this year’s Science Meets Parliament is the National Gallery of Australia, Gandel Hall. I’m here representing CORE – the Computing Research and Education association. CORE gets two seats at this event and I was lucky enough to secure one. The focus of this whole activity is to show scientists how Parliament actually works and, with any luck, how to engage successfully with this level of organisation – but also to get Parliamentarians and scientists talking together. It’s a pretty high profile line-up and my own meeting looks like it will be pretty interesting.

The two days involve a lot of briefings, discussions and meeting opportunities as well as the chance to attend the Press Club luncheon tomorrow (which, sadly, I won’t be able to attend as my meeting with a Parliamentarian conflicts with this) and sitting in on question time.

Right now the room is slowly filling up as people register and find tables. Demographically, there are roughly 40% women, and very few non-white faces. The overall age is not that great (or grey, if I may), which isn’t much of a surprise.

We start in about 30 minutes so I’ll resume blogging then.