One hundred years ago, Niels Bohr received his Nobel prize. One hundred and one years ago, the Niels Bohr Institute opened its doors (it would have been one hundred and two, but pandemics are inconvenient things).
This year, also partly delayed by a pandemic, the Niels Bohr Institute is celebrating.
We’ve had a three-day conference, packed with Nobel prizewinners, people who don’t feel out of place among Nobel prizewinners, and for one morning’s ceremony the crown prince of Denmark. There were last-minute cancellations but also last-minute additions, including a moving speech by two Ukrainian PhD students. I don’t talk politics on this blog, so I won’t say much more about it (and you shouldn’t in the comments either, there are better venues), but I will say that was the only time I’ve seen a standing ovation at a scientific conference.
The other talks ran from reminiscences (Glashow struggled to get to the stage, but his talk was witty, even quoting Peter Woit apparently to try to rile David Gross in the front row (next to the Ukranian PhD students who must have found it very awkward)) to classic colloquium style talks (really interesting crisply described puzzles from astrochemistry to biophysics) to a few more “conference-ey” talks (t’Hooft, unfortunately). It’s been fun, but also exhausting, and as such that’s all I’m writing this week.