Last weekend I made a trip to Boston and had a privilege to see bits of the SUSY'09 conference. Backreaction and Quantum Diaries have already run their stories but in my opinion they did not fully capture the grandeur of the event. 9 days in a row, including foreplay. Over 400 participants, not counting squatters. 42 plenary speakers, most of whom witnessed the glorious days when supersymmetry was conceived. Seven parallel parallel sessions to cover every aspect of supersymmetry that has not yet been covered thoroughly enough. Royal coffee break menu fully adequate to the royal conference fee. And so on and on since 16 years and into the future.
Meanwhile, there is no single hint from experiment that supersymmetry is realized in nature... but that should not upset anyone. As my fellow blogger skillfully put it, supersymmetry is the "shining beacon", the "raison d’etre" and for this reason "the conundrum is how it will be discovered, not if". That's why every year we come together to enjoy old familiar faces and old familiar talks. The point is, while waiting for the inevitable, to maintain that kind of spirit that David Lodge praised in his books.
On the picture below, the photographer about to make a photograph of the SUSY'09 participants.