Looking down from the steps of the Museu National d' Art Catalunya, we see the Fira de Barcelona, a complex of 8 large buildings which together make up one of the largest exhibition centres in Europe. One of these buildings, in the lower right of the above photograph, was the venue for ESOF2008.
The Palau de Congressos de Barcelona accommodated some 3,000 registered attendees and participants, among them scientists, journalists, business people, policy makers and students.
The building contained dozens of rooms spread out over 4 floors. Downstairs, one large room was filled with booths for exhibitors from academic institutions, organizations and governmental bodies to display their research findings, products and services.
Exhibitors included the Swedish Research Council (above), the European Science Agency, the RIKEN Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, Novartis, the Nature Publishing Group and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, below).
Representatives of the Swedish Research Council encouraged visitors to try out the Brain Mirror, "an interactive 3D experience...[with which] visitors are able to explore otherwise complex MRI data."
Brain lobes, subcortical systems, pathways and the centre of the brain...can be discovered. All displayed with information overlay pointing out different anatomical parts and describing their functionality.
Tobias tries out the device. Look closely at the top left of the photo, and you'll see an image of a brain scan. It's not an image of his brain, but data that was collected previously. The hat tracks the user's head movements, and projects the brain scan image onto the mirror image; when the user moves, the brain scan moves accordingly.
In an adjacent building, there were various outreach activities, such as...
...making 3D paper models of biological molecules,
a bouncy castle with a computer screen projected onto it,
an interactive display that teaches kids about the brain
and a superstrings installation.
Tobias has posted more photographs.
the conference centre looks a little like it belongs in a communist planned city, or an oil-rich dictatorship!