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Goldschmidt 2017 Conference Report


Goldschmidt2017: breaking records!

The glittering Eiffel Tower during the dinner cruise

The 27th Goldschmidt Conference of the European Association of Geochemistry (EAG) and the Geochemical Society (GS) recently took place in Paris, France, and while preparations for Goldschmidt2018 in Boston are already on the way, we’d like to share with you some statistics and highlights of the conference.

Goldschmidt2017 has certainly broken several records, including the highest numbers of attendees and abstracts, and the conference’s success is the product of the hundreds of volunteers who served among the Science, Organising and Local Committees, or as theme chairs, conveners, mentors and bloggers! We warmly thank all contributors for their time and commitment, and would also like to address special thanks to our fantastic team of student helpers.

We particularly wish to recognise the dedication and leadership of Antje Boetius – Principal Convenor and Chair of the Organising & Science Committees, Bernard Marty – EAG President, and Marc Chaussidon – Chair of the Local Organising Committee.

Number of participants 4,630
Students 33%
Number of abstracts 4,264
Parallel sessions 20
Sessions 143
Oral presentations 2,189
Posters 2,177
Oral/poster ratio 49.7% orals

Participants came from 85 countries, some as far
as New Zealand! The 20 most represented
countries were:

  • USA 847
  • France 698
  • Germany 515
  • Great Britain 498
  • China 441
  • Australia 183
  • Switzerland 174
  • Japan 170
  • Canada 125
  • South Korea 102
  • Russia 77
  • India 69
  • Sweden 61
  • Spain 60
  • Belgium 57
  • Denmark 56
  • Netherlands 54
  • Brazil 53
  • Israel 53
  • Norway 38

Early Career Scientists Program and Support

We thank Adina Paytan for her efforts setting up an extensive program for junior delegates at Goldschmidt2017.
This year, the program included:

  • 9 lunchtime workshops attended by 371 students;
  • ‘Meet the Plenary’ event, allowing groups of students
    to share lunch with the plenary speaker of the day;
  • the Mentor Program with 214 mentees and 168 mentors;
  • and new for this year, 11 Pop-up Talks presented by passionate young researchers, an initiative developed by junior scientists Steffi Lutz, Kimberley Bitterwolf and Alexandra Holland. To find out more, we invite you to read the blog post ‘Love Triangles and Spies – Geochemistry in 3 minutes’ by Claire Cousins.

The Goldschmidt Conference has a strong tradition of supporting the attendance of delegates from countries with low-income economies, and in 2017, the Grant Program enabled 58 junior scientists to attend. We also thank the Geochemical Society and Elsevier for their financial support to this program. Another 27 grants were awarded to US-based students thanks to generous contributions from NSF and NASA.

Medallists and plenaries

Recognition of scientific excellence is at the heart of the societies’ values and this is perfectly illustrated by the 14 awards presented at this year’s conference—another record! We wish to congratulate all medallists again. The full list is available at https://goldschmidt.info/2017/medalsView. Interviews of some medallists can be found on the EAG blog at http://blog.eag.eu.com/category/goldschmidt2017/.

The Geochemistry Fellows award ceremony

This year’s Goldschmidt also marked the launch of a new award, the ‘Robert Berner Lecture’, created by students and friends of the late Robert Berner to commemorate his intellectual legacy in geochemistry. The inaugural ‘Robert Berner Lecture’ was awarded to Joshua West (University of Southern California).

Goldschmidt is always keen to find outstanding plenary speakers able to bring new perspectives to a large audience. This year’s speakers included:

Lecturers’ biographies and abstracts are available here and videos of all the plenary talks can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/user/goldschmidtconf

Press coverage

Substantial efforts were put into communicating our science to the general public and, through the teamwork of our Press Officer Tom Parkhill and EAG Councillors Vinciane Debaille, Siggi Gislason, Emily Pope and Dominik Weiss, Goldschmidt2017 received extensive international press coverage, including articles in The Times, Agence France Presse, BBC, The Washington Post, El Pais, El Mundo, The Guardian, Science, The Australian, German State Radio to name just a few.

Here are some highlights:

Goldschmidt Wild Orbit Cinema

A science video competition was a first at Goldschmidt and we’d like to thank Adrienne Macartney for this wonderful initiative. More than 90 submissions were received and, after a first round of selections, 15 of the best short science films were screened throughout the conference. An average of 60 delegates attended the daily lunchtime screening, and special workshops and discussions on how to make a science movie were also organised. The 15 movies selected can be watched at http://wildorbitfilms.com/finalists2017/finalists2017.html (also see the special blog post ‘Goldschmidt Wild Orbit Cinema’ by Claire Cousins). Two external judges chose the 3 best movies, which are Biology Meets Subduction (Deep Carbon Observatory), Atoms to Volcanoes (Terry Thomas) and Paleodul (Gonzalo Moreno). Congratulations to the winners!
Here is a short post-conference movie provided by Wild Orbit Cinema:

Workshops and field trips

Goldschmidt2017 broke yet another record with 14 pre-conference workshops attended by 361 scientists. These covered an array of subjects, from geochemical modelling, to noble gas understanding, boron environmental geochemistry, and many more. See the full list of workshops.

Fieldtrip in Burgundy

Another 84 delegates participated in the four pre- and post-conference field trips, mixing science with the discovery of local treasures (local wine, delicious food and beautiful landscapes!).

We take this opportunity to thank all of the workshop and field trip organisers.

Social events

As per Goldschmidt tradition, a full and diverse social program was offered to attendees, who were able to discover Versailles at night and with fireworks, to walk through the Marie Curie’s Latin Quarter, to enjoy the traditional ice-breaker, dance at the Goldschmidt Rocks Party, dine on the Seine while discovering Paris’ wonders, and enjoy special museum tours of the Louvre or the Musée d’Orsay. A total of 1543 social tickets were sold this year, probably another record!

Goldschmidt Rocks Party

Dinner cruise on the Seine

Sponsors and Exhibitors

The success of the Goldschmidt Conference is also possible thanks to the support of our sponsors. We are particularly grateful to our Platinum sponsor Thermo Fisher Scientific, our Palladium sponsor Agilent Technologies, and our Gold sponsor Oxymore. And of course we were most excited to welcome 40 exhibitors, who we thank for sharing their expertise with the delegates.

Social media, blog, photos and videos

A team of seven intrepid bloggers was assembled to cover the conference. We thank Deirdre Clark, Martin Mangler, Sami Mikhail, Claire Cousins, Clare Stead, Tadhg Dornan and Foteini Drakou for sharing their experiences in their 17 blog posts. This year, Bernard Marty (EAG President), Eiji Ohtani (EAG Urey Award), Julie Prytulak (EAG Houtermans Award), Francis McCubbin (GS Clarke Award), Shuhei Ono (EAG-GS Paul Gast Lecturer) and Li Zhang (Shen-su Award) were interviewed by Sami Mikhail – interviews can be found on the EAG Blog Goldschmidt2017 section.

Goldschmidt2017 was also quite active on social media with 1234 tweets – check them out at https://twitter.com/goldschmidt2017.

Finally, another record was possibly broken with the number of conference photos taken: 1039 in all! The photos are all available online and, as always, videos of the plenary talks can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/user/goldschmidtconf

Our final thanks go to the conference organiser White Iron Conferences, and to all the delegates of Goldschmidt2017 who made it such a memorable event! The European Association of Geochemistry and the Geochemical Society look forward to welcoming you to a fantastic 28th V.M. Goldschmidt conference in Boston, 12–17 August 2018.