Cosmologists gathered in the Netherlands last week to discuss a new view of the Universe. The Universe as seen by Planck was an international conference to discuss the recently released scientific results from the Planck satellite, including two particularly striking snapshots of the early Universe.
Some of the things I overheard at Stephen Hawking's 70th birthday conference did make me wonder whether I hadn't got the wrong building and stumbled in on a sci-fi convention. "The state of the multiverse". "The Universe is simple but strange". "The future for intelligent life is potentially infinite". And — excuse me — "the Big Bang was just the decay of our parent vacuum"?!