Note of welcome to Houston for SUN 2018

As lead organizer of SUN 2018, which will be held in Houston on March 22-25, I invite you to join us for what promises to be an outstanding meeting the Bayou City.  The weather in March is the best of the year, avoiding the chills of winter and the humid heat of summer, and we have planned a comfortable and elegant venue, an introduction to the host program (M D Anderson) assisted by our partners at Baylor, and interesting speakers and cultural and social activities.  Houston is America’s fourth largest city, and contains a population that is as diverse as it is welcoming.  The meeting is tentatively scheduled to be held at the Hotel Zaza in the Museum District, adjacent to Rice University, Hermann Park with its outstanding zoo and golf course, multiple museums, and of course, the Texas Medical Center where both M D Anderson and Baylor proudly reside.  The variety and richness of Houston is vast:  it is the home of Beyonce, petrochemical plants, 26 Fortune 500 companies, America’s astronaut corps, fine neighborhoods, major league sports teams, the biggest concentration of medical expertise on the planet, the world’s first domed stadium (the Astrodome, still standing), theater and music of every genre, shopping that yields objects of desire at every level, and thousands of restaurants to suit all gastronomic tastes.  As the town that was named after Sam Houston, that sent Neil Armstrong to the moon (where “Houston” was the word first spoken from the lunar surface), where air conditioning was invented, it has a colorful history that peeps out at you in unexpected places.  This mix of economic power, intellectual heft, and cultural diversity is the only major city in the US without zoning, and it has the busiest port in the nation for foreign tonnage despite not being technically on the ocean.  It is the most ethnically diverse major city in America, and it contains some of the nicest, most welcoming people you will meet anywhere.  Please come take part in a SUN meeting where old friends will come together, new friends will be made, and where we will learn from each other while enjoying the quirkiness, elegance, and unexpected beauty you will find in Houston, a city like no other.

 

Ian McCutcheon