As we know, the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented in-person meetings since March 2020. While the increasing deployment of effective vaccines around the world is a very positive development, the timeline and pathway to “normality” is uncertain and the “new normal” we will settle into is anyone’s guess at this point.
Many scientific fields, like particle physics, now have a year of experience in holding virtual meetings, workshops, and conferences. A lot of experimentation and innovation has happened to explore how to execute these meetings effectively. As such, this seems like an appropriate time to take stock of what we’ve learned and discuss possible strategies for the future. Continuing to develop effective strategies for virtual and/or hybrid virtual/in-person meetings is also likely to be important for reducing the carbon footprint of our research activities, while also enabling greater diversity and inclusion for participation.
It is in this spirit that we plan to hold a virtual meeting on, you guessed it, virtual meetings.
This will be a Blueprint meeting of the NSF-funded Institute for Research and Innovation in Software for High Energy Physics (IRIS-HEP). IRIS-HEP aims to address key computational and data science challenges of the High Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) at CERN and other HEP experiments in the 2020s through development of state-of-the-art software cyberinfrastructure. The IRIS-HEP Blueprint activity is designed to inform development and evolution of the IRIS-HEP strategic vision and build (or strengthen) partnerships among communities driven by innovation in software and computing.
The first day of the workshop is focused on experiences with virtual workshops. The second day is focused on tools, discussions about future strategies for both virtual meetings and hybrid virtual/in-person meetings, and a collective summary of key findings which will go into a brief workshop report. The report will outline some of the practices and tools that have worked (or haven’t, but seem like they should have) which we hope will serve as a valuable resource for future virtual meeting organizers in all scientific fields.
|This project is supported by National Science Foundation cooperative agreement OAC-1836650 (IRIS-HEP). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the developers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.|