The first two week of August find Rio de Janeiro the host to the International Astronomical Union’s General Assembly, an international meeting that takes place every three years in some city in the world. Brazil isn’t a powerhouse in astronomy, but there are some world-class departments in the courty and some very good scientists.
It’s a bit strange to see people I know from the States and other places in a professional context walking along the streets of Rio and asking for advice about where to stay, where to eat, or whatever. Astronomers stand out in their own special way compared to typical tourists, for better or worse.
And everyone got this not inapporpriate email yesterday:
As in any big city we have problems with robbers, for this reason and since the weekend is coming, we would like to recommend you some important warnings:
-Do not walk on the beach at night,
-Do not visit Santa Teresa neighborhood and Tijuca National Park without atourist guide,
-Do not visit any Favela,
-Wherever you go, carry with you a copy of your passport instead of the original one,
-Take your electronic devices inside your bag,
-Use only taxis (cabs) or metro (subway) instead of public transportation,
-In case of a robbery, please, do not react.
Thank you in advance and have a nice weekend.
National Organizing Committee
Wise words. I break a couple of those rules regularly, although I shouldn’t.
I am not giving a talk, but am presenting a poster (the science fair for adults part of the meeting). I procrastinated and wanted to make some last-minute updates. It’s finished, but not printed. I’ll have to print it as early as I can manage Monday morning and hope I’m not too late to the meeting. Posters will be up all week.
The professional portion of the meeting is, alas, closed to the general public. The talks are aimed at professionals, as are the posters, so no one is missing much here. There are some big astronomy exposition being advertised locally, and there is a listing for public astronomy events if you’re interested.
Edit: Here’s the sign that is up around Rio right now.