A miracle is a handy concept. Often you use it to refer to something you don’t know much about, or then you may call something a miracle when you don’t want to explain it – perhaps it would take too much time, or it might be too complicated or even a bit embarrassing to do so. Of course, a miracle also means something too fantastic to be understood.
For a science writer, believing in miracles is controversial. But I do not share the common belief that miracles are rare and not in reach of secular people – I hang on to a scientific definition of miracles, for which I have collected my own ‘scientific’ evidence:
There is one “Littlewood’s Law”, which defines a miracle mathematically and statistically as an exceptional event of special significance occurring at a frequency of one in a million. Furthermore, in certain terms, one can expect to observe a miraculous event for every 35 days’ time, on average.
From this it may follow that seemingly miraculous events are actually commonplace!
Latching on to this, I can say that ever since WCSJ2013 Helsinki was announced in Doha, both small and big miraculous events have unfolded, and I can confess that these miraculous events have been rather pivotal in the whole WCSJ2013 -conference-building process.
Just to mention a few, in the beginning at the end of 2011 there was the miraculous formation of the WCSJ2013 Committees and the naming the Chairs, as well as the election of a good PCO .
2012 saw the miraculous birth of our 1st Announcement leaflet for presentation at AAAS2012 Vancouver, as well as the equally miraculous production of the Sponsoring Strategy.
Slightly exceeding the number of miracles afforded by Littlewood’s Law, we also experienced a couple of really big miracles.
One was the 200,000 euros coming to WCSJ2013 as funding from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture; the other was the worldwide success of the Call for Proposals, which gave us nearly 200 great submissions from all over the world.
(At that point we understood that the miracles in our store could only be harnessed into use by doing some hard work in going through them!)
Summer 2012 was the season of many miracles in the making. Among other things, we staged a supportive networking event for the committees and arranged a Countdown event for all FASEJ members.
Furthermore, at ESOF in Dublin we succeeded in having a sponsorwise fruitful breakfast meeting with the WFSJ board members, and a marathon meeting with the Programme Committee members.
In August, we miraculously enough agreed on the biggest issue so far: the basis for the upcoming plenaries.
And miracle by miracle we have been able to move onwards: In September we opened the conference registration form; in November we started the global sponsoring work; in December, sponsorship agreements started to stack up.
We also have a truly wonderful social programme and most session topics pinned down, the bulk of the workshop and post-conference excursions’s descriptions written out, and the exhibition is open for sale.
Miraculously enough, we also have this renewed website for telling this all from now on to be able to tell people what we are doing.
The year 2013 will of course witness even more miracles. Only that at this stage it will not all be about planning, it will merely be about the Miracles of Agreeing, Confirming and Finalizing. Just follow this website.