I just got back from the new version of the old GSAC meeting. It is now called GME or Genomes, Medicine and the Environment (or, as we like to call it – stuff Craig Venter is interested in these days). The meeting is organized by the Venter Institute and this year was one of the better versions of this meeting. There were some really interesting talks in a few topic areas (I will try and post some details about these later). But to me, the most interesting part was seeing the Venter genomics education bus (part of their Genomics Discovery program) on tour. They use this bus to go around to high schools and other places to do some genomics education.
Just before coming to the meeting, the bus apparently rolled into New Orleans (see Wired news story here). Lots of people like to complain about Venter and his style, but whatever you may think of him, I think this bus is a great idea. We desperately need more people who do science making an effort to interact with and educate people about scientific research. And since this bus is outfitten with lab equipment and various genome-related toys, it can go into a neighborhood without the best science labs and help introduce students to the fun and excitement of modern science.
Note – the photo was taken by me at the GME meeting in Hilton Head, SC. In the photo are Lisa McDonald, Jennifer Colvin, and (I think) Darryl Bronson.