Friday, October 5, 2012

International Researchers Hosted by Mayor in a Palace

There is still hope for the planet and its citizens.

You may think that this blogpost is about meeting the Mayor of NYC, Mr. Bloomberg, whom I am actually quite a big fan of,  given his many transportation innovations under his administration.

I am actually writing about the Mayor of the city that has become my second home, since I was appointed a Visiting Professor at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Last night, the Mayor of this second largest city in Sweden, hosted a reception for international researchers!

The Mayor, Ms. Lena Malm, treated us to a delicious smorgasbord of dishes, in the Dickson Palace, from 6-8PM.

I had a chance to talk with her and her brief speech welcoming researchers was inspirational. She spoke about how important it is to support research and especially international researchers. She said that we also serve as ambassadors for this city.

How can you not feel a part of a city and community that cares about research!

Many of the invited came from the University of Gothenburg or the Chalmers Institute of Technology.

I met several researchers from the US -- from Indiana, Tennessee, and Oregon, and, of course, we discussed the Obama vs. Romney debate of the night before.

I spoke with several nanoscientists, a sociologisist, and with a computer scientist from France who works on formal theorem proving. With the computer scientist I  had a great conversation on the joys of math and proving theorems and also talked about computer science and programming!

With the nanoscientists, we discussed the importance of renewable energy and  the minimization of pollution and carbon impacts.

 I also met a female researcher from Chile who is working on the design aspects of waste management and a researcher from Spain who keeps himself focused and fit through dance! There were many researchers from China and India, one in very formal native dress.

The Dickson Palace is magnificent and is located in central Gothenburg, just a short walk from my apartment. The interior of the palace is filled with brocade, chandeliers, lovely carpets, and elegant furniture.

I had an individual conversation with the Mayor and thanked her for the hospitality and the warmth of the people in Gothenburg.

Yesterday was a perfect day with the celebration of papers published with cakes to the reception with the Mayor!