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It may be winter outsideā€¦..

10 December 2012

As the song says -  but in my heart it’s spring – not quite as at the ASE we’re in the final stages of preparation for the Annual Conference and as I write, the ASE is precisely 49 years and 11 months old.  We are looking forward to summer, however, and the Summer Celebration Conference at the end of June.

In trying to distil the essence of ASE conferences, I realise that they are, at their core, participative events. Rather than setting up a top-down event with hired in speakers, the core of our Annual Conference, and the Summer Celebration Conference will be the individual members and partner organisations who suggest items for the programme.  For the summer event, we’re looking for expressions of interest at this stage. The smaller event will mean that we’ll have to be highly selective with the programming, but it will be exciting to see what the combined creativity and imagination of ASE members and our partners can come up with.

It doesn’t end there, however.  As with the Olympics in 2012, we’re talking about the legacy from ASE’s anniversary year. A successful conference will be very good news, but we also want to think of it as a jumping-off point for some new thinking. The last Annual Conference left us with a Presidential Address, from Robin Millar which has produced food for considerable thought, and a project for primary science assessment is also under way following a discussion at the Liverpool event. Similarly, we expect that the summer conference will be the start of some sparky new thinking as well as some new and creative ways of bringing people together.

We have to be careful with legacy projects, however. Transport for London is at pains to let me know of various wonders that have ensued following the Olympics. According to me, they would be better detracting attention from a new (and in my view pointless) way of crossing the river, and concentrating on telling me about the potential lovely new home for a certain football team that needs all the help it can get.

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