Stream Meeting Ringberg Castle

It’s been a while since I’ve found the time to give an update on my activities. The reason is that there are just too many these days! Let me start catching up by telling you about an amazing workshop that took place from July 19-24 in Germany.


Jo Bovy (CITA) and Hans-Walter Rix (MPIA) organized a stream meeting at Ringberg Castle, which is a conference venue owned by the Max Planck Society. It’s not just called ‘castle’, it really is one! And the conference participants are literally locked up on a mountain, giving the meetings up there a very intimate and focussed atmosphere. I was put in the tower – but with a view like that (above) it didn’t occur to me to complain! 


The other window of my room featured the rose garden and the pool. Peace of mind guaranteed. It was definitely more a science vacation than a conference – but a very productive one!


The castle is situated high above the Tegernsee, a lake deep down south in Bavaria close to the Austrian border.


It was built from 1926 till about the late 60’s, and has been donated to the Max Planck Society by the “Duke in Bavaria” (guy on the left), a rich duke without anyone to pass his wealth and property on to. Thanks to this admittedly unique situation, the castle is now a prime location for scientific meetings, and is booked out for years in advance.


One day, Max Planck director and Ringberg regular, Hans-Walter (above dipping his head into cold spring water) led us on a field trip across the Austrian border. The Großer Ahornboden is a glacial valley, perfectly flat in the center and rising steeply on both sides.


And yet again I realized how much I love love love the outdoors. Living in New York City lets me miss this peace, silence and overwhelming nature more and more.


Hiking and exhausting yourself in nature cannot be replaced by runs in Central Park – which, admittedly, are pretty nice as well. Learned on this trip and new goal for the future: be more in the outdoors. Hiking, camping, etc., here I come.


Scientifically, the meeting was amazing. Pretty much the entire streams community was present (about 50 people). This doesn’t sound much, but for such a new and upcoming field it was quite remarkable to have so many scientists with the same interest in one room. Now I have met and talked to literally every single stream person in the business. Does that change how I perceive those people’s work? Yes, it does. Maybe it shouldn’t, but once you can assign a face to a name on a paper, you become less skeptical and more likely to accept a new idea. That’s at least my own perception. Maybe it’s just me?


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