This is one of the few conventions that I really get out there and sit in on panels. At most cons, it’s usually actors telling a quip or story and laughing with the panel host. It often seems rehearsed, repetitive and fake.
But this convention was different. The people speaking at the panels were passionate and knowledgeable. Especially in their areas of expertise. It all began last night.
The first panel I went to was hosted by Seth Shostak of SETI. He was memorable and amusing in how he explained his vision for how we look for extraterrestrial life. I learned a lot about where mankind has gone wrong (lack of funding much?) and where we should be looking to the skies in the future.
The second panel I went to was earlier today. It was about emerging technology. What was neat about this panel was the fact that it seemed like four friends were on stage. There was a venture capitalist, a board memeber at Spacex/Tesla, a member of NASA, and Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry (son of some guy who created that sci-fi series that wasn’t Star Wars…) The discussions were about the technology advancements and speculation on where mankind will go in our search into the stars.
The last panel I attended was titled “Droids and Death Stars: The Science of Star Wars”. It involved a panel of a founding member of the 501st Legion from California, a lady who is a psychologist that deals with PTSD victims, and another female panelist from NASA who also loves Star Wars. The two ladies in the panel surprised me in many ways. First- the comparison of PTSD of the Star Wars universe that is often overlooked. (Chewie needs a hug after his loss in the last film…) And the other lady was being a realist about how the spacecrafts really wouldn’t work well. Even though she is a fan, she also has a better scientific grasp on how things should work.
There was far too much knowledge shared in the past 24 hours for me to write about. But now I have some topics that I can discuss with my other nerd friends when we return home.