Right now, many researchers and academics are worried that the current situation will negatively affect our careers. We are all searching for ways to minimize the impact of working from home, not being able to collect data or exchange thoughts with colleagues on a daily basis. But worries around the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on employment security are even worse for Early Career Scientists (ECS), of whom many are on temporary, short-term contracts in an already insecure and competitive working environment. This is important to us, as at EGU, half of our members qualify as Early Careers and thus we do whatever we can in our power to support the needs of early career researchers in the Earth planetary and space sciences.
As such we are happy you have found this blog post! In these strange times it is important to connect with your colleagues and work together to find the energy to continue following our career goals. We hope, with this post today, we can give you some positive thoughts about the upcoming largest pilot online event the Earth, planetary and space sciences have ever seen: Sharing Geoscience Online (#shareEGU20). More than ever, do the careers of Early Career Scientists rely on presenting their work at conferences, joining networking events and boosting transferable skills; from the very start of their careers. This is one of the main reasons why the General Assembly was not postponed until next year, but rather taken partially online. Seizing the opportunity that this week-long series of virtual interactions offers is vital for Early Careers researchers, who are at the very start of their scientific career and is why we have adopted the motto “Go Virtual!”
The online event has been greatly supported by your peers, fellow Early Career Scientists (ECS) who are involved in hosting sessions, or who are part of the EGU structure in their function as ECS Representatives. The ECS Representative Team is a group of volunteer EGU members, who work together to convey the wishes, needs and advice from our ECS members to the EGU’s governing body; the Council, to ensure EGU is accessible for all.
All this week and next week, extra attention is being given to the ECS Representatives on the EGU blogs, highlighting their activities and encouraging you to seek them out and get in contact during the week of #shareEGU20. Next week, all Early Career researchers will be able to showcase their science and discuss their ideas online, with both existing colleagues and potential future collaborators, without any fee. Short courses will be offered daily through the EGU YouTube channel to help you acquire transferable skills, and anyone who wants to extend their network can join one of the online ECS-hosted networking events to meet peers and experts in the field. Even though we will not meet face-to-face, we hope that you will take advantage of these opportunities available to you, to help you further your career.
Apart from scientific, skill-development and networking activities there is always time for improvement. At a physical General Assembly, there is an Early Career Scientist Forum, where ECS are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas about how to improve EGU. To follow our motto “Go Virtual!”, we have also taken this feature online and we are really looking forward to learning what you think EGU could improve, both as an organisation and in the virtual world. With #shareEGU20, we hope to open the door to people, and more specifically Early Career Scientists, that have previously not been able to join us in Vienna. We encourage you all to participate and become a part of the EGU family. By opening up our science and our network, we will create a solid, inclusive and diverse Early Career Scientist community that in the near future will be the leaders of ground-breaking discoveries in the Earth, planetary and space sciences.
We are looking forward to meeting you (virtually) at #shareEGU20, we hope you are too.
on behalf of the ECS Rep Team
Raffaele Albano and Anouk Beniest