Today was a fantastic day of sightseeing in Richmond, London! With a group of exactly 97 eager science people, we crowded onto the tube (London underground subway is great!) and then crammed ourselves into two buses for a good 45 minute ride to the Royal Hampton Court Palace! The long ride gave a great opportunity for a chat with Gabriel about the differences and similarities of Brazil and Canada as well as a detailed history of Brazilian independence. Some really good memories already on the bus and subway rides, meeting some of the other members!
The court itself was unreal! It was essentially a vacation palace for King Henry VII which was added to and used by various successive monarchs. It was massive and extremely ornate. The gardens were well-kept and beautiful, even including a hedge-maze! The highlight of the day though was in the Chapel. Not only is it incredibly beautiful and reverent, but there was also up on the wall an organ that was built in 1711! Coolest part was that today a student at the Royal Academy of Music came to play it for a 35-minute recital that included Toccata (Toccata and Fugue) in E- BWV 566 by J.S. Bach! It was absolutely incredible to sit in the pews and hear such a fantastic instrument play in the chapel!
Following the tour, we had an open debate on the topic of whether we should be focusing research on big science (collaborative such as the genome project) or on small science (discovering smaller items that doesn’t produce huge amounts of data and may not be collaborative). It started with two small lectures, but the debating didn’t really get going until the last 15 minutes or so.
Night ended once again with fooseball in the common area. Apparently fooseball is pretty big in Cyprus because they were Very good at it.