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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: October 2009

Conference summary: The quest for new worlds

Summary

Introduction

I would first of all like to express my gratitude to the organizers of this meeting for inviting me to give this summary talk. I am assured by my colleagues that such an invitation is one of the key prerequisites for becoming recognized as an “Old Fart”—so, “Thank you, Mario.” To reinforce this point, I shall be the first speaker to demonstrate that the overhead projector is still working, thus blocking the view of those who like to sit in the middle of the front row. Although I am not (yet) one of those who feels it necessary to demonstrate status by only attending a part of a meeting, I must admit that this is the first meeting I have been to in which I have attended every talk—I use the word “attended” deliberately, since initially the effects of jet lag had not quite worn off.

I take, however, neither credit nor responsibility, for the slightly pretentious title, The Quest for New Worlds. As I am sure you are all aware, this was the title of the grant proposal to the Spanish authorities from a certain 15th century Italian. He set out to find India, but instead discovered the local bête noire, Cuba.