There are two main reasons that I can't make it:
1-Time. I'm just finishing off my summer project and starting to need/get exciting results. Also I'm sorting out my wedding, trying to get a PhD organised, and heading off to another more work-related conference later this month. Taking four days off would be slightly overindulgent at this point.
2-Money. I do not have any. As an undergraduate SGM member I can't get a travel grant from them (graduates only) and as I've graduated the university isn't about to give me any money. So I have to pay to transport myself up there, and for somewhere to sleep for four nights. Train fares are expensive nowadays and even the cheapest B-and-B I had planned came to £180. Quite frankly if I had £180 I'd use it to clear my overdraft.
HOWEVER - all is not lost. As I registered for going to the conference (for free - the perks of being an undergraduate member) they sent me a PDF of the abstracts for each session. So, over the next two weeks I'm going to have a rather sad and nerdy little single-person conference of my own on my blog. I'm going to try and get a post up every other day (so seven posts over two weeks) covering one topic at the conference with each post.
I've got a choice of seventeen, but here are the topics I'll probably aim to cover as they're the ones I most wanted to see:
Metals and Microbes
New Insights into Secondary Metabolism
Protein Folding and Misfolding
(and if I have time, Microbial Models of Human Diseases)
Before anyone starts feeling too sorry for me about missing this I should point out that a) I have another conference I'm going to this month b) that conference is fully funded and c) that conference is in Italy...
And there will be many more conferences in my life, I'm sure!