Symposium O “Bionanomaterials for imaging, sensing and actuating” had over 150 abstracts submitted, 14 invited lectures, 36 selected oral presentation and 100 posters. The selected presentations were given by a mix of Professors, Post-Doctoral researchers and PhD students and the quality of the presentations was always good and often excellent. The symposium started on Monday morning and finished on Thursday evening by a wine and cheese reception on the beach (pictures below). It was well attended throughout with always over 100 participants in the room. The poster session was very well attended as well and we should have allowed more time for that session: I did try to go and see all posters and did not manage, some poster presenters were frustrated since they were not able to go around see the other posters – we’ll improve that next time. The symposium was diverse in terms of nanomaterials (gold nanoparticles/rods, semiconductors quantum dots/rod, upconverting lanthanides nanoparticles, silicon carbide nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, iron oxide). There was a clear overlap of interests between the participants with many facing similar challenges in their imaging and sensing applications generally relating to the issue of controlling the interactions and fate of nanomaterials with cells/organisms. The basis for the toxicity of nanomaterials was the topic of one of the invited lecture and it was also an aspect of many of the other presentations. These commonalities of issues combined with a range of background and materials helped build an exciting atmosphere with many questions after each talk, as well as fruitful scientific exchanges and interesting discussions at the coffee breaks, lunches and other social events.
Overall, an excellent experience which we will try to reproduce in 2013 – watch this space.