(This post originally appeared on Nature’s news blog. It’s now part of the “In the field” conference blog.)
Atlanta was never the first choice. The SFN annual meeting has met in New Orleans every three years, and 2006 was again New Orleans’ turn after San Diego and Washington DC.
But then, Katrina struck, and the society decided last year to move the 2006 meeting to Atlanta. Fair enough.
But the society won’t be returning to New Orleans any time soon, instead meeting in November 2009 in Chicago. Weather considerations aside (they don’t call Chicago the Windy City for nothing), some say the society has rashly abandoned New Orleans just when it needs the economic boost large conferences can bring.
A few enterprising young scientists here took matters into their own hands and began handing out stickers saying “New Orleans for 2009”, which they urged attendees to affix to their badges. Sadly, they don’t seem to have made much headway. Few attendees have seen them and even fewer are wearing the stickers. Looks like it will be blues, not jazz, in 2009 after all.