The conference is officially over. I managed to escape the closing reception after only two drinks and early enough to get a full night's sleep before heading out in the morning to fly back East.
Schmoozing went well. Met some potential collaborators who are interested in just the things the Petting Zoo is hoping to develop in months to come. And learned -- as I've been suspecting -- that the Great Problem of Our Time is social, cultural, and political rather than scientific. The Problem isn't a lack of information or understanding but a lack of credibility and trust.
Why? And what to do about it? Those are the questions we need to be asking ...
Also, Enviro Shark and I did have a chance to talk, and my suspicions about the tensions between Expanding Habitats and Survival in Captivity were not figments of my imagination. While I feared I was being paranoid, in fact I was spot on. But the good thing is that Enviro Shark now "gets" where I'm coming from, and I think we have a solid alliance that will prove useful in the weeks ahead as far as settling the tensions and moving forward.
All in all, a pretty decent conference experience. Wish I had more time to see the sights, as it is beautiful out here in the mountains, but I am looking forward to going home.