EGU2020: Sharing Geoscience Online, the Union’s first completely virtual meeting, is destined for the record books! In April, shortly after the in-person General Assembly was cancelled, EGU Programme Committee Chair Susanne Buiter described Sharing Geoscience Online as “an exciting opportunity to demonstrate if our members are interested in new models of interacting.”
The statistics show that EGU members resoundingly responded to what Buiter called a “moment of truth,” with more than 26,000 participants from 134 countries taking part in Sharing Geoscience Online’s 701 scientific sessions. The vast majority of the discourse occurred through the exchange of live text chats, which had a median of 92 (and a maximum of 796) participants per chat and featured more than 200,000 posted messages.
Sharing Geoscience Online also included ten livestreamed Great Debates and Union Symposia, half a dozen live and pre-recorded short courses, and several virtual press conferences. These were watched live by 7,000 people and have received an additional 19,000 views to date on the EGU YouTube channel, where they’ll remain available for your viewing pleasure.
Authors uploaded presentation materials to nearly two-thirds of the event’s 18,036 abstracts, and these plus the more than 6,000 comments made to them have been archived on EGUsphere, the Union’s new interactive digital repository.
Sharing Geoscience Online also featured a number of fun traditions, including inspiring artwork created by EGU’s two (virtual) artists in residence and kids’ “volcanic paint” masterpieces. The week also closed with the traditional Friday unveiling of the annual Imaggeo photo competition winners.
The virtual gathering did not include the annual EGU awards ceremony; the recipients of the 2020 honours will be recognised alongside next year's awardees during EGU 2021. All nominations for the 2021 medals and awards are due on 30 June 2020.
Sharing Geoscience Online would not have been possible without the large and dedicated group of volunteers who enabled the shift “from Vienna to virtual” in six short weeks. EGU extends its heartfelt thanks to all Sharing Geoscience Online participants and conveners and everyone who helped create this opportunity to connect the global geoscience community during unprecedented times. Your efforts are truly appreciated!