March 7, 2011
From the moment I walked in the door today at the Victorian AgriBiosciences Centre, I was treated with a warm and kind hospitality…
As for the presentation, it went off relatively well… Only three people out of an estimated 30 nodded off. That’s a bit higher than my average 5% rate. I am not bothered. I will chalk it up to the heat (+30C today) ’cause it certainly couldn’t have been because I was boring! As is always the case, though, discussions after were more interesting. Excellent questions from an engaged audience. I really enjoyed myself.
Dr. Spangenberg and his associates also arranged a tour of the facilities for me while I was there. I was blown away. My being ‘blown away’ is a product of two things: The first is that AgriBio is, indeed, an amazing facility. The second one (and the one that hit me square between the eyes) is that things have changed. Today was the first time I had been in lab facilities for well over 10 years. The equipment is mind boggling (from a non-science perspective)…DNA sequencers, mass spectrometers, bioinformatics capabilities, etc. These automizations have taken the science that I once knew and observed to whole new production levels. Very, very impressive. AgriBio and its employees will be moving to a new facility across the road by year end. One can only imagine what that place will be like.
I am on my way down to Port Melbourne to join colleague R and his wife J for dinner. It is another busy day tomorrow, my last full day in Australia. Site visit to University of Melbourne as well as meetings. Also, a conference call with a plant breeder from CSIRO.