It was much ado about very little, Jim would say to anyone who made of his presence in Washington a big deal. He did not even have prepared remark despite having had a few days – during the prep for the event – to do so. Jim spent most of that time conferring with his team via video conference about other projects, the progress or lack thereof and other administrative aspects of his job.
The day – the Big Event Day – began in the same format as the well-organized, planned in advance yearly gathering of scientists and researchers around the world which would congregate in Washington to network, exchange ideas, share findings, brainstorm and collaborate on projects. In a theater like setting with numbered seats, every scientist, researcher and expert who registered for that event took a seat according to the number assigned to the individual. The latecomers (or unregistered) were free to occupy any unassigned seat. The room was rather large, one tenth (1/10th) the size of a covered stadium that could easily accommodate well over two thousand people. Almost every inch of the room was occupied. Jim was on the podium alone.