Friday, July 12, 2013

Climbing to the top - Kidney Camp 2013

"Kidney" CAMP!

The FASEB Science Research Conference on "Renal Hemodynamics: Integrating with the nephron and beyond" took place last week at Vermont Academy in Saxton's River, VT. The meetings were previously called Summer Research Conferences, but they changed that to the quite strange "science research" that sounds more like a branch of philosophy to me.
Anyway, we still call it by its proper name: Summer Kidney Camp. It is a summer camp where spouses send their kidney physiologist halves to wear them out and enable at least a semblance of normal conversation during the rest of the summer. I'm guessing that doesn't work out as well as they hoped in much the same way as summer camp for kids don't.
The Kidney Camp is held every three years, and has a tendency to return to Saxton's River, even if it has been held in other locations once or twice. The main feature is the afternoon-break where we do important sciency stuff, like sitting in the grass, playing softball, football (proper football), basketball, and top rope climbing (which, by the way, is awesome). As far as I can tell most attendees only play sports once every three years for reasons unknown to science, and quite dangerous to be honest. The climbing was probably the safest activity.
The evenings are filled with more science. The fiercely competitive talent show, which was won by one of the supporting acts. The collaborative table tennis, and the very novel fussball table (rumor has it the last one broke three years ago) where any argument can be settled with a well timed spinning of the rods.
Then we have billiards, which makes you look better, but only until you pop the cue-ball off the table. Aaron, who is posing for illustrative purposes only, never did. I promise. Honestly.
In between these important scientific sessions there were some other stuff, where a lot of actual science was actually discussed. Some six to eight hours of lectures per day, and the best poster session in the field. Not only because it is the poster session with a bar that serves local micro-brewery beer, but also because the bar keeps people at the posters and everyone, even invited speakers, bring posters. Luckily it is three years to the next meeting so that I, and my liver, can recover.

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