Last week I wasn’t blogging because I was out of town for a scientific conference in Taos, New Mexico. I’d never been there before but I was excited about the prospect of seeing mountains and blue sky again. I had two main goals – learn as much as possible at the conference and eat as much Mexican food as I could get my hands on. It was a full week – we were busy pretty much every moment of the day with talks, excursions, more talks, late nights, and early mornings.
Here’s a brief recap of the week. Over the next few days I may share more photos of some of the things we were able to experience. The conference center had scheduled many events for us and on the first day we went on a hike to see petroglyphs and drive through the mountains.
The tour guide couldn’t give us much information about the petroglyphs, other than they were created by the native peoples some time before any European presence. But they were neat to see.
We also visited the Rio Grande Gorge. This is my room mate and I on the bridge. Rooms in town were scarce and it was stressful trying to find a place to stay. In retrospect I’m so happy that was the case because I met a friend for life!
We also were able to visit the historic plaza and see Kit Carson’s home, admire old churches in the area, and my friends even let me visit a knit shop! On the last day we went to the Pueblo Reservation.
The pueblos in this picture are over 1000 years old and have been continuously inhabited. The views there were breathtaking.
Other groups were able to snowshoe and ski during the afternoon. With all the touring we did, it may be hard to believe there was also science. But there was… lots of science and lots of learning for me. It was a conference on neuroinflammation (the role that inflammation plays in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer), and some of the greatest experts in the world were there. We had great seminars and presentations and I was able to meet many brilliant scientists, some of which I now count as my friends. On the last night of the conference as we were wrapping things up, I looked around at everyone – the older scientists who were established in the field and the younger ones just starting to make their mark. It felt in some ways like the handing off of a torch – a generation of upcoming scientists are mobilizing to tackle some of the worst diseases armed with the knowledge of decades of hard work from their mentors. If there is a cure for these diseases, it will come from the group of men and women clustered in that room. They are going to change the world and I was so honored to share a week with them.
Blessings to you,