Either an exhilarating exchange of ideas that will revolutionise science as we know it, or a bunch of bored people sitting in a room, listening to droning bigwigs.
I don't have half as many meetings as I did in my last job, and a much higher percentage of the ones I do have are of the useful variety. For this I am incredibly grateful.
On an ordinary meeting day I will gather my paper and pencils, put the kettle on, pop to the loo, make a cup of tea, and travel no more than 4 floors from my desk to join my colleagues.
Yesterday's meeting was on Granville Island, not an actual island but a small piece of reclaimed industrial land that is now a landscaped tourist attraction, complete with public market, nice stores, kayak rentals, etc. My office is only about 3 km away, so as I was only going to the afternoon session of an all-day meeting, I decided to walk down there on my lunch break.
During my postdoc years, a group of us would sometimes escape the lab early and bike or walk down to Granville Island for a beer, occasionally stopping to play a game of football. This experience has left me with some insider knowledge about the very cool shortcut I took yesterday, camera phone in hand.
This pleasant, leafy walkway is actually suspended over a main road.
You can hear the traffic, but can't see it, unless you climb up a small embankment towards a gap in the vegetation.
Once over the road, I continued through a park, complete with ponds and ducks, towards False Creek ("False" because it's actually an inlet of the ocean).
Yup, I had a nice sea-side stroll on the way to my meeting!
I was tempted to keep going - the path continues through more parks and several beaches - but dutifully turned right and went to my meeting.
I turned up happy and relaxed, and grabbed a left-over sandwich and cookie from the morning session. The meeting was small, and focused more on the politics of science than the actual science, but it was interesting.
I never got a cup of tea though.