Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Is Telluride on top of the world of science?

This week, I'm hanging out in Telluride at a workshop focusing on dynamics and kinetics in many dimensions. This is relevant to molecular reactions, protein folding and diffusion, metals and much more. It's brought together an eclectic set of chemical physicists, biophysicists, mathematicians and others from several countries around the world. But who would have thought that I would also run into specialists—and friends—in electronic structure or polymer physics who are attending other workshops? Evidently we're all attracted to the beautiful terrain of this box canyon at 8750 feet above sea level AND to the science we learn from each other in the small workshop format afforded by the TSRC.

In just the five workshops that are being run at the Telluride Science Research Center (TSRC) this week, there are several members of the National Academy, many more who have received national and international awards, and truly many of the leading scientists in their respective fields. After these workshops end, there will be another five workshops next week with another set of similarly highly esteemed researchers. This will continue to repeat weekly through early August. In all, well over 1000 scientists from around the world will have convened in Telluride by the end of the year. That's much more than you can find at any major university in the same span. All you need to do to run across nearly all the major researchers in the chemical sciences is spend your summer sitting at the main coffee bar in town! If all works according to plan, there will even be a permanent facility built for the TSRC by 2017. With that, there should be little doubt that the TSRC is the place to be to if you want to see the cutting edge of science and the landscape beyond it.

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