dr bob is not a clothes guy. dressing up is a concession to necessity.
Of course if you are caught without a suit in the hot roman summer, what can you do? George did not seem to think it was a fatal problem, the black shirt at least kept the spirit of the Vatican audience dark suit tradition.
Four years later in 1998 ms ani convinced bob to rent a tuxedo and go to the black tie Mendel Award Dinner honoring Francis R. Collins, then head of the human genome project. Indeed it was an interesting experience. And very nice dinner. Looks like a self-timer shot in the kitchen recorded the state of dress:
But the whole tuxedo rental thing just was a hassle. No more dinners for a while.
Ten years later in 2008 George got picked and there was no hesitation about attending the Award Dinner. But maybe it might make sense to buy a cheap tuxedo instead of renting, that would set us up for an annual free and elegant dinner with interesting people and an engaging after dinner talk for many years to come. Ani went for a Nicole Miller princess dress. Bob lucked out and found a half-priced Joseph Aboud tux at Men's Warehouse.
So here we are with George and a dinosaur. Not only did George captivate a jam packed C-Center Cinema with his inspiring talk "The Dance of the Fertile Universe---Did God Do it?" (available on the Villanova University iTunes U under Roots of Humanity and Civilization, but forget ITunes, go directly to the You Tube video without hassling with Apple's corporate consumer walls and poor naigation tools: George Coyne: the You Tube Talk 1hr 26') on Friday afternoon, but he delivered a terrific follow up after dinner speech at the dinner Saturday night in Philly at the Academy of Natural Sciences.
So thanks to George we were ready for the next year and wow what a rock star public speaker did we get in 2009. Ken Miller, bio prof at Brown University, and a stellar fighter in support of science and reason over the forces of irrationality. Who spoke to a jam packed Villanova Room with people turned away. bob just made it into the back to stand through the amazing lecture. Here we are after another terrific after dinner talk that we will not soon forget. Thanks, Ken. You are going to be a hard act to follow.
Here is the official VU photographer group shot.
More dress up: [2008 photos, 2009 photos]
Ani got a cheaper dress from Nordstrom for our 3rd consecutive annual dinner, this one for virologist Robert Webster, September 2010, photo by Mary
Mendel Dinner Club 2011 found bob with shingles breaking out in his beard and hair, a mild case, but no fun at all, so pictures were not on the agenda.
Mendel Dinner Club 2012 saw our most inspiring speaker, Ahmed Zewail, who in spite of being thrust into celebrity by the 1999 Nobel Prize in physics, he decided on his future priorities: to continue exploring his curiosity in research and to use his platform to advocate for trying to make a better world through investment in fundamental science, education and partnering with the have not world.
Still happy campers. Thanks, Patty for the shot.