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Science on snow - skiing with the Dutchies

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Topic: Travelling  |  Series: The Lowlands
If someone had told me couple of months ago that I would have been skiing with Dutch guys in Swiss alps, I would have seriously doubted it. Yet, it just happened! And as I find myself being back in Amsterdam, I can officially claim previous five days the best holidays I had in years and one of the best I have had ever … which actually makes it far the most genius business trip ever.

Now I feel I should more properly explain how I just managed to mix up holidays with a business trip in a single paragraph. Well, fundamental ingredients for such a mixture consist of a perfect research group under supervision of a great leader. Join two (!) such groups together in a ski resort and you end up with the advertised fabulous combo! Add science talks, blue sky, sun, enjoyable horizon of mountains, fresh air and you end up with a sheer-magic. Shaken, not stirred! :)

The idea to have an affiliate meeting of AMOLF's Biomolecular imaging mass spectrometry group and members of the Institute of Molecular Sciences at the University of Zurich was already born some time ago. The plan was to share the research ideas and possibly create new  junctions between the groups; to debate and discuss wild ideas behind our projects :) The possibility of organizing such a meeting in Swiss Alps sort of offered itself and hence during the day we could enjoy ourselves on the slopes and in the evenings each of us had a short talk about his/her research project.

The Dutch part of the expedition set off from Amsterdam on Wednesday at seven o’clock in the morning and reached the village of Gampel in Switzerland some twelve hours later. We met there with Florian, who is actually the one coming with this commendable affiliate-meeting-idea, as his research is carried out in both labs – in Amsterdam and Zurich. After staying in Gampel overnight, we picked up the rest of the Swiss participants following morning and together we proceeded to Fiesch, where we planned both, science talks and skiing.

I think the skiing part itself does not need any further comments; the photos are self-expressing. What regards the scientific part, that was just amazing, too! I admit we happened to be a bit tired after spending the whole day on fresh air, but can you actually think of a better leisure-time-activity for science geeks than having lectures in the evenings? :)

I know again a bit more about molecular biology and I just refreshed all of my colleagues‘ projects, which is always useful. I enjoyed myself talking about my project, too. I might not be such an exhibitionist, but I just love presentations! :)

Anyways, I hope to have such a meeting next year again. Actually, I think we should do this more often. It inspires me, it pushes me forward and it simply makes me happy. It made me seriously happy. It made me endlessly happy… even if only for that moment ;)

Thank you, Florian & Ron & Erich & Anne & Andras & Berta & Claudio & Dario & Don & Fabian & Gert & Imke & Janine & Julia & Nadine & Sara & Shane & Sophie!

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