An international astronomy conference on planet and binary formation took place at University of Leicester in mid-September 2022.
Over 50 attendees from more than 10 countries as diverse as the USA and Taiwan gathered in the College Court from 12 to 16 September 2022 during the “Planet and binary formation in gravitationally unstable protoplanetary discs in the high-resolution era” conference. These in-person participants were joined by further 30 scientists in the virtual format. The Astrophysics group of the School kindly provided some financial support for invited speakers.
For many of the participants this was the first in-person conference in the post-covid era. Feedback from the participants was practically universally positive, with many commenting on the quality and breadth of the science discussed, praising the cooperative and constructing spirit of the daily discussions. The in-person participants in particular enjoyed the opportunity to establish new collaborations or rekindle the old ones. We also received positive feedback on the venue in terms of both the conference room, lodging, breakfast/lunch and coffee breaks in the College Court. Although online participants noted minor glitches with sound and online video streaming, most also made positive comments on their experience. Finally, after the end of conference, in person participants enjoyed the visit to King Richard III Visitor Centre and the Guildhall Museum in the city centre.
Overall, this experience was highly rewarding and intellectually motivating. We hope that the conference provides a boost for the visibility of the planet and binary formation research in the School, and leads to further international collaboration and new projects.
The technology available and physical capacity of the College Court make it an attractive venue for meetings with up to about 80 in person participants and an unlimited number online. We certainly recommend the venue for future Leicester conference organisation by the members of the School.
The conference could not be a success without the expert help of Lisa Brant (LOC).
Conference organisers Sergei Nayakshin (SOC) and Vardan Elbakyan (LOC).