Last week I attended the 52nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC), one of the biggest conferences in the planetary science field, for the first time. I’ve been wanting to attend this conference for two years now but with me being in India and the conference being held in USA, it just wasn’t feasible. This year however, taking the current situation with the pandemic into the account, the conference was held virtually over the course of 5 days. Lucky me!
Honestly, I’m not a big fan of virtual conferences, not only because of the screen fatigue it causes, but also because the socially awkward me finds them even more awkward haha! So suffice it so say, my first experience of LPSC was a weird combination of excitement and nervousness. In the first couple of days, I was so intimidated and didn’t know many people so I couldn’t mingle much. So those initial days were spent attending as many interesting talks as I could. Which you would think might have helped me in getting more comfortable with the conference. However, listening to other people’s brilliant research work resulted into my imposter syndrome getting the better of me. It took me a while to convince myself not to compare myself with others. Once I did that, the rest of the conference wasn’t that intimidating. I also ended up talking to a few people whose research intrigued me, mostly because of how different it was from mine. I still wish I had been more confident and straightforward, and talked to more people, but alas, I’ll do that next year. I think being able to present my own work at the conference next year might also help with self-confidence. Fingers-crossed!
On the plus side however, I listened to some really interesting talks on topics like lunar impact cratering, its physicochemical evolution, explosive volcanism, initial insights from recent missions to the Moon and the Mars. The other events throughout the conference that I enjoyed very much were: 1) Networking event for planetary scientists of colour and 2) A virtual LPSC dance party! Shout out to Shannon for hosting a killer dance party! Now that the conference is behind me, it’s time for me to focus on my research and make up for the lost time. I’m hoping to have some results by the first week of May, so that I can present something at this year’s LunGradCon.
In other news, it’s been a month since I moved to London, and I must say I’m starting to love this city. Since my last blog, I’ve already finished my mandatory quarantine and moved into my new place. It took me a bit longer than I expected to get settled in, and If I’m being completely honest, I’m both thrilled and nervous about living with my roommates, away from my family. Before coming to Canada, I’d never been away from home for more than a month at a time. So being thousands of miles away from my family, my comfort zone seems like a lot. However, this new change also fills me with a sense of accomplishment and a promise of new beginnings.
So far, I’ve only managed to explore one of the famous malls in the city, but I did take quite a few walks around the neighbourhood which have been very refreshing. On these walks, I’ve found myself a new hobby- taking pictures of barren trees I encounter on the way. I think the main reason why I’m so fascinated by these trees is that it’s a very rare scenario back in my home city. I took a lot of pictures of the trees I liked, I thought I’d share some of them with you!
Until next time!