Despite my poster looking a little lonely at setup (there were only two posters in my category!), it garnered a lot of interest, and people asked me about it all week.
The topic was really popular, and something that simply isn’t talked about in polite circles — I pushed at the appropriate past experience for a scientist looking to become a proposing principal investigator of a new flight mission, comparing what I perceived to be NASA’s current requirements and the collective experience of the community, as measured by the number of people who have held other flight mission positions in the past.
I’ve published three papers on the subject, but this was the first I’ve spoken about it in public, since I’ve been ill, but I have to say it was really well received. Soon after I arrived at the poster on Tuesday, I was fully engaged in questions and discussions – not explaining my poster per se, because they’d already read it – but talking about policy and the future of small planetary missions. It was incredible. I really enjoyed it, and all the more so because I felt like I was part of the discussion again… a feeling you don’t get simply publishing papers and reviewing proposals from a distance.
It was an incredible day, and I loved every minute of it.