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Overheard at ESOF: 27 July

Light-hearted highlights from the EuroScience Open Forum in Manchester.

Cloak and dagger As well as the public sessions, ESOF is also a great place for private meetings. A group of the European Research Council’s present and past grantees were spotted attending just such a meeting in a quiet corner of the conference centre. Attendees included well-known names like Nobel prizewinner Andre Geim. The purpose? We’re not entirely sure, but a source hinted that the ERC could be creating a grassroots network to help preserve its good public image.

Silence please A talk on the history of the European Research Council was broken by an unexpected musical interlude when one attendee’s phone rang. Annoying, but not so remarkable, you might think, and indeed the panellists took it in good spirits, suggesting “Shall we sing?” and “I thought a dance!”. Your correspondent was rather more taken aback, however, when the recipient proceeded to answer the call and conduct a lengthy phone conversation without so much as moving to the back of the room.

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