TURIN, ITALY—This Italian version of ESOF is clearly more of a science festival and venue for high-level science policy debate than a research conference where the latest data is presented. But on occasion there is a breaking news event that draws rapt crowds. On Saturday afternoon in the exhibit hall, the booth for the International Bureau of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research was the place to be as some enterprising person had hooked up an Internet-connected laptop to a television screen and was streaming the World Cup football match between Germany and Argentina to a large crowd (right). German lager and Italian breadsticks were enjoyed as the booth's hosts and their fellow compatriots celebrated the 4-0 victory over Argentina. With each goal, shouts echoed through the exhibit hall and people ran over from other booths to get updated. One can only imagine how ESOF would have ground to a halt if Italy had made it past the first round.
Continuing with the football/sports theme, our colleagues over at ScienceCareers have also been roaming the corridors of this former Fiat factory. (The building is famous for having a car test track with banked corners on the roof—people can now use it as a jogging track.) One of them just met with Elin Ekblom-Bak, who studies how sitting for long periods is bad for the body. But ScienceCareers decided to blog about her because she's juggling being a new mom, a Ph.D. student, and a professional football player. (If Ekblom-Bak's story interests you, note that ScienceCareers also recently talked with others pursuing research in sports science.)