A Conference on the Origin (and Evolution) of Baryonic Galaxy Halos
A conference was held in March 2017 in the Galapagos Islands on the topic of The Origin (and Evolution) of Baryonic Galaxy Halos. It attracted some 120 researchers from around the world. They presented 68 talks (nine of which were invited) and 30 posters over five days. A novel element of the talk schedule was that participants were asked which talks they wanted to hear and the schedule was made up based on their votes and those of the Scientific Organizing Committee SOC . The final talk schedule had 34% of the talks given by women. An emphasis was given to discussion time directly after each talk. Combined with limited/no access to the internet, this resulted in high level of engagement and lively discussions. A prize was given to the poster voted the best by participants. A free afternoon included organized excursions to see the local scenery and wildlife of the Galapagos (e.g., the giant tortoises). Four public talks were given, in Spanish, for the local residents of the town. A post-conference survey was conducted, with most participants agreeing that the conference met their scientific needs and helped to initiate new research directions. Although it was challenging to organize such a large international meeting in such an isolated location as the Galapagos Islands (and much credit goes to the Local Organizing Committee LOC and staff of Quito Astronomical Observatory for their logistical efforts, organizing the meeting for over a year), it was very much a successful conference. We hope it will play a small part in further developing astronomy in Ecuador.