No physical assembly. A digital sharing platform. EGU reinvented. Valeri needed some time to process all this and is still deliberating his opinion:
What did you think about the digital version of the EGU GA?
It was great. Just. Great. There were loads of presentations with brand new science available online. Greatly readable, enjoyable and clear. So many new insights there, it was eye-watering. And don’t get me started on the chats; brilliant. After some great introduction by a moderator/convener, every presenter presented their presentation right on the mark. With clarity and brevity as requested. And the questions were of a quality I never encountered during the physical assembly. Insightful, poignant, provocative. And those are just some of the terms that spring to mind. The responses were of the same quality: outstanding and illuminating. In case a small detail of their presentation was slightly dubious or misinterpreted, they picked it right out and enlightened us mere mortals. A real learning experience. At the end of a riveting discussion with all big shots of the relevant research topic in attendance, any remaining remarks were slushed to a digital holding pin at the presentation stronghold. One can only dream about the glory these remarks should have raised when pointed out during the discussion. Such a waste. If only we had more time; maybe they can make the digital version of EGU two weeks next year?
To me, the digital EGU experience was somewhat like a didgeridoo. You know it exists. It’s from a country far far away, but that’s part of the charm; a good portion of the scientific population will check it out. See what all the fuzz is about. Then you hear the music. And this new experience is like marmite: some people like it, some people don’t. After hearing the music, you then decide to try it out yourself. With mixed results. Remember, a didgeridoo is an instrument particularly difficult to handle properly. A couple of huffs and puffs, maybe even an Hufflepuff, and there’s some noise coming out of there. A lot of noise, and maybe a snippet of a rhythm. It might take some time to actually master the mechanics and all of the different subtleties this peculiar medium involves. That’s a lot of preparation. Maybe a little too much to get right the first time. That may be okay, but it does make one long for those musical instruments right around the corner back home. Sometimes trying out a new musical experiments is one for the memories; you’ve tried it, take note of the experience, and swiftly but happily get back to that grand grand piano. Or bass guitar. Or bassoon. Or marimba. But not the didgeridoo again.
The Sassy Scientist
PS: This post was written in awe of the sheer delights the #ShareEGU delivered.
PS2: No, but really. Please. please, please let there be a physical assembly in 2021. If there’s a god. Any god…