2020 was a year of new challenges and new ways of working for many. As thousands of people began working in news ways, embracing digital life even more than had previously been imagined, EGU was also trying new things – not least of which our emergency online replacement for the General Assembly in the spring of 2020: Sharing Geoscience Online. Because of the number of changes we went through in response to the global pandemic, you may have missed some of our key new initiatives of the last year and as such we wanted to highlight 5 of the top things that are new for EGU!
In the 2019 EGU membership survey, respondents ranked science for policy activities as one of the top 4 services the Union provides. To continue to develop EGU’s policy-related activities, the EGU Council has established a new Science for Policy Working Group to create new science for policy opportunities and highlight upcoming EU-wide policies of relevance to EGU members.
“The Earth, planetary, and space science community plays a key role in many different policy areas, in which their research can help policymakers more accurately assess the benefits and potential consequences of different policy pathways,” says EGU Policy Officer Chloe Hill, who will chair the new group. “The experts who have graciously agreed to participate will help advise EGU on how to promote greater collaboration between the geoscientific community and policymakers, highlight policy-relevant outputs from EGU scientists, and support evidence-informed policy in Europe.”
In January 2020 EGU ran it’s first Union wide webinar, to provide information, discussion and support to our members throughout the year. This turned out to be a very prescient decision, and since January 2020 we have run seven webinars on topics ranging from open access publishing to inclusion and diversity within geoscience societies. All EGU webinars are supported through the EGU office and are recorded and posted to our YouTube channel, so if you have an idea for a webinar topic that you would like to see EGU cover, email email@example.com
To highlight EGU’s commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion of opportunities in the geosciences, and provide guidance and foster diversity to conveners organising sessions at the EGU General Assembly, EGU has asked them to consider their team’s diversity with respect to career stage, gender, geography, and scientific approaches. Those teams that meet these initial criteria (which will continue to develop in the future) will now be awarded with an EDI logo! For a session to be branded with the new logo in 2021, it must:
1. Include conveners from multiple countries and institutes, preferably with a diverse representation of geoscientists from the wider European community or beyond;
2. Have conveners from different career stages, including at least one ECS (but not only ECS); and
3. Include conveners that represent more than one form of gender identity.
Any session convened by teams that fulfill all three criteria will be eligible to display the new logo.
“I am very proud of this new logo for many reasons,” says Claudia Jesus-Rydin, the chair of the EGU Working Group, who continues to serve as the working group’s chair. “The new logo recognizes EDI in EGU sessions, which we hope will raise awareness and work as a catalyst to build diverse teams. EGU 2021 will be our pilot, and we hope the number of sessions displaying the logo will increase each year.”
In the summer of 2020, following the success of Sharing Geoscience Online, and facing an extended period when normal research institutes activities were facing a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Early Career Scientists of EGU came up with a plan to run informal online events to promote community and provide a way for our members to support each other: the EGUcampfire. Since then many Divisions have hosted these events, some focused on scientific discussions and practice talks, other on social events or discussions of subjects of broad interest to research communities like social justice issues or advice for other researchers. Any Division can run a campfire, with the support of the Division President, and if you have any questions on this please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
In March 2020, EGU and our publishing partner Copernicus.org announced the launch of EGUsphere, a new online platform designed to increase visibility and boost discussion and collaboration within the Earth, planetary and space science community. EGUsphere will serve as a central repository for the abstracts and presentations from the Union’s annual General Assembly and other meetings, with the opportunity to engage in virtual discussions. EGUsphere will also gather all of EGU’s 19 open access journals in one place, and will provide a preprint repository for researchers who do not want to publish their papers yet. EGUsphere will continue to develop its resources in the coming years but if you want to get involved in the platform, we are looking for moderators to help with quality control of the submitted preprints!