Kari Lehtonen, SETAC Helsinki Co-Chair
Just a couple of weeks to go, and we will be kicking off the northernmost SETAC conference ever. The response has been superb; currently, registrations are approaching the 2,100 mark. We are looking forward to welcoming you to our beautiful city, already in full bloom due to the early arrival of the spring, just as we ordered for all of our registrants.
Make sure to get the best out of our city – compact and best discovered by foot and using the tram network. In your congress bag, you’ll find a ticket for a free use of public transport offered by Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) for use during the meeting time frame, Sunday through Thursday. This includes the HSL ferry that takes you from the Market Square to the popular Suomenlinna Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in just 15 minutes.
The daytime city is full of classy art galleries and excellent museums, including the new and architecturally unique Amos Rex Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, which face each other in the center of town and are highly recommendable. With the arrival of evening, the city’s vibrant nightlife gets going with all the bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs to suit everyone’s taste. The main areas for partying are found in the city center, especially in the lively Punavuori district. For those fond of a more Bohemian lifestyle and action, head across the small bridge to Kallio, a former working-class district that is nowadays home to many cultural folks and students. Fine dining, gastropubs and the ever-present sushi and tapas bars and restaurants are of course on the list, but the peculiarity of Helsinki is the exceptional number of Nepalese restaurants, which have populated the city with probably the highest density per capita outside Kathmandu. Much loved by the locals, this cuisine of tasty food can be found at a very reasonable price.
While the scientific program is as exciting as ever, the social part promises enjoyable and memorable moments, including the Student Party on Tuesday night at the picturesque Korjaamo Culture Factory (a former tram depot unit in Töölö, close to the Olympic Stadium), and the Banquet on Wednesday, starting with a boat cruise in the spectacular Helsinki archipelago and ending in a dinner in the atmospheric Sipuli restaurant in the harbor at the foot of the prominent Uspenski Cathedral.
Inside the congress venue, art meets science – every day. Take a relaxing break from the sessions to listen to the undersea soundscape or admire the beauty of bioluminescent algae in our special exhibitions set up for you. Finally, at the end of each day, enjoy the poster session by sipping a cold beer – not just any beer but SETAC American Lager, specially produced by a Finnish microbrewery!
See you soon in Helsinki!
- 15 May: Late poster abstract submission
- 23 May: Online registration closes
Author’s contact information: kari.Lehtonen@ymparisto.fi