The 2008 meeting for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is perhaps the biggest general science fair of the year. Not only is it a chance to catch up on all the latest breakthroughs in physics, it is a chance to see physics as it should be: seamlessly integrated with all the other sciences.
David Baltimore, AAAS president and co-recipient of the 1975 Nobel Prize for Medicine, puts it better than I can. In the introductory blurb for the press programme, he writes that the theme of the meeting, Science and Technology from a Global Perspective, “emphasizes the power of science and technology as well as education to assist less-developed segments of the world society, to improve partnerships among already developed countries, and to spur knowledge-driven transformations across a host of fields.”
Clearly, not everyone has either the opportunity or time to go to Boston, but even those of you who are going to attend the meeting will be unable to sit-in on every talk (and I’ll refrain from making a hackneyed quip here about quantum superposition). Needless to say, neither can a lone reporter for physicsworld.com, though I can invite you to experience my own random walk through the symposia. So, from global warming to gamma-ray bursts, from nanotechnology to nuclear power, from optics to open access, from planets to particle physics, from radiation to religion and from quantum information to questionable ethics — over the next five days I will report on as much of it as possible.