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SULTAN represented with the EC at the AAAS conference in Seattle, WA

In Seattle, Washington (the city of the original Starbucks, the iconic Space Needle, Pike’s Place Market, and grunge music, among many other things), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting took place, 13 to 16 February 2020 with Bill Gates as one of the plenary speakers.

The AAAS annual meeting is one of the largest general science events with the gathering of thousands of international scientists, policymakers and science journalists (EC, 2019).

Figure 1. Iconic Pikes Place market in Seattle, WA (left) and Bill Gates’ Plenary talk (right).

This year’s theme was on Envisioning Tomorrow’s Earth, and the European Commission (EC) was a main sponsor. The EC had a booth in the Exhibition Hall as well as hosted a few different sessions on current hot topics. Jillian (ESR 14) was invited by the EC to showcase her experience as an American in a H2020 MSCA ITN project. Together, with Steven Quistad, an MSCA fellow for post-doc research, they gave their testimonial at the Destination Europe event (with 200 registrants) at the University of Washington (Feb 13, 2020), before the AAAS conference.

Figure 2. Kasia Hellevuo (Deputy Head of Unit, REA), Steven Quistad (MSCA post-doc fellow), Alessandra Luchetti (Head of Department, REA), Jillian Helser (MSCA ITN SULTAN Project, ESR 14) (from left to right) (Photo Credit: REA Research).

In addition, during the conference, they also presented their experience at a session (EU grants: Shake up your research abroad) and were present at the EC booth to answer questions and share their experience about research in Europe. Overall, the AAAS conference and Destination Europe event were a success with many fruitful talks.

Figure 3. (top left) EC members, including Athina Zampara (Project Officer), and research fellows at the EC booth (Photo Credit: REA Research); (top right) Jillian presenting at the University of Washington Destination Europe event (Photo Credit: REA Research); (bottom left) Jillian at AAAS conference; (bottom right) Sunset on the final evening of the conference.

Special thanks to the EC for making all of this possible and organizing some great events!