Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Long Weekend in DC

Well, yes, I think I am understandably proud! For Jenny to be awarded a medal by the National Academy of Sciences, however much we might think she deserves it (we completely do!) is seriously up there with the great and the good, and we feel properly awed and humbled. Few are honored in this way, and it takes some getting used to, I can tell you.

Having made no secret of who I am and where I live, I'm a bit reluctant to announce in advance that I'm going to be away, so I apologise for the longish silence. We've been in Washington DC for the National Academy of Sciences award ceremony, where Jenny was given her gong. Flew out on Friday morning, got home Tuesday morning, and very pleasant it was. I'm planning to add a page to the family website, which will describe it in all its gory detail, but for now, here's a summary.

It was nice and warm for the first day and a half - 26°C, so that was OK. Chris, whom we've known for 20-odd years, lives just outside the city, so picked us up and took us to the Old Angler's Inn, where we had a smashing dinner outside, close by the Potomac, then a pleasant amble by the river for a bit as dusk fell.

Saturday he drove us to Shenandoah National Park, where amongst other things, we saw a humming bird and a wild turkey, thus the region's smallest and biggest birds, we think. Lots of rubbernecking at the views, of course.

Over lunch there was a magnificent thunderstorm and very heavy rain, so we timed that right! Excellent food was accompanied by a really nice Virginian white wine, which was something of a surprise. Never hear of them over here.

Sunday Jenny got her gong and it was roughly as you'd expect. Reception with wine and photos, lunch with more wine, garden party with more wine. Once we got home we went out to an Italian near our hotel and I don't remember too much of the evening after that!
The pic of Jenny holding her gong and stickyfoot (certificate) is after the ceremony, David Wake being the man who proposed her for the medal.

Monday we did the new Museum of the American Indian, which was interesting and had some impressive computer graphics, after which Chris took us to the airport and we flew home on the red-eye, arriving at 6.30 Tuesday morning. Not bad.

The last photo is a detail of a big blue board in the NAS Members' Room, on which the various medals they award are displayed, along with the names of recipients and the year of their awards. I took it so you could see some of the famous names, though I admit that a non-biologist might not recognise any of them!


Jennyta said...

My congratulations to Jenny, Rob. It's wonderful when people's work and contributions are recognised officially.

Rob Clack said...

Thanks Jenny. I bask in the reflected glory!

Jennyta said...

so you should, Rob. Think variation on 'Behind every successful man there is a supportive woman.' (OK, I know that the real quote is 'Behind every successful man there is an astonished woman') ;)

orchidea said...

Congratulations! You must be very proud. Bask away!

o xxx

Sparx said...

Oh well done Jenny! That is seriously impressive.

Rob Clack said...

And I made the silver brooch she's wearing especially for the ceremony. (Breathes on back of hand and brushes lapel with knuckles!).