said. “The Ottawa Convention Centre staff went above and beyond, with plan- ning the food-and-beverage stations, the technology, with everything.” Next year’s congress will be held in
“It was the largest city-wide meeting to date with the new convention center.” The only hiccup came when the
wireless-Internet connection was hacked and attendees had inconsistent access to the web for about three days — putting a wrench in the paperless pro- gram that provided online itineraries and a smartphone app. “We had limited complimentary Internet at the event before the glitch,” Shouwerwou said. “So we threw it out to everyone for free to apologize.” Fortunately the AV system broad-
casting the presentations was internal, independent from the Wi-Fi and thus protected from the hacking. “It didn’t affect the presentations at
all,” Shouwerwou said. “In the end, it worked beautifully.”
INITIATIVES Despite Shouwerwou’s small team — two university professors who championed bringing the confer- ence to Ottawa — and tight budget, he was determined to impress. The scien- tific poster sessions, which are usually “dry, boring affairs,” according to Shou- werwou, were held as evening cocktail receptions. This made a productive exchange of information and no-pres- sure socializing a breeze, and helped result in more than a 90-percent turn- out. “With that many people in-house and it being a fairly new center, every- thing flowed really well,” Shouwerwou
Utah, as part of a rotation that moves it between Europe and North America every few years. The Evolution confer- ence — the precursor to this year’s co- located event, involving ASN, SSE, and SSB — hadn’t met in Canada in more than 10 years, and Shouwerwou was astounded by how well things worked out. He said: “I’d have a hard time com- ing up with a negative thing to say about the congress itself.” The passion surrounding the land-
mark event spilled onto the streets of Ottawa when about 2,000 students, pro- fessors, and scientists snaked their way up to Parliament Hill on the final day of the conference to stage a mock funeral procession, mourning the “Death of Evidence,” in protest of government funding cuts to scientific research.