Now that summer is over, policy events are back in full swing! With most events still being online, they are easily accessible and generally free of charge. The EGU has an External Science for Policy Events Calendar that lists upcoming policy-related events that are likely to be of interest to geoscientists. This can be a useful resource if you’re trying to find events that will introduce you to the science-policy interface or a policy area! This blog post will highlight a few of them.
As a result of the current pandemic, many events have moved online while others have adopted a hybrid format. Attending events in-person allows you to meet new people, make connections, switch off from your email, and enjoy some free conferences but attending online events also comes with a range of benefits. They’re often free of charge, can be accessed within minutes, don’t require carbon-intensive transport to attend, and can be less time-intensive. The events listed below are a mixture of online and hybrid events and will appeal to a range of audiences.
The European Youth Event, 4-9 October 2021
The 2021 European Youth Event (EYE21) brings together thousands of young people from all over the European Union and beyond to shape and share their ideas on the future of Europe. Unlike other events, the European Youth Event targets those who are between 16 to 30 years old so it’s a great opportunity for those that are right at the start of their scientific careers to engage in the policymaking process. It’s a hybrid event that allowed participants to interact with experts, activists, influencers, and policymakers both virtually and in person. The sessions at EYE21 will be interactive with the aim to gather the opinions and ideas of participants.
European Climate Research Alliance & Blue-Action Climate Coffees, September – November 2021
For a more casual and informal event, you could join one of the Climate Coffee webinars that are being jointly hosted by the European Climate Research Alliance (ECRA) and Blue-Action. These “Climate Coffees” invite researchers from across the climate science community to present research on a specific climate-related area and share ideas. The informal setting and extended Q&A time aim to promote discussion between the featured researcher and the participants.
European Commission’s EU Soil Observatory Forum, 19–21 October 2021
Supported by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, the 3-day virtual EU Soil Observatory Forum will address the challenges facing soil within the various strategies of the Green Deal, including the EU’s biodiversity strategy, Farm2Fork Strategy, Zero Pollution Action Plan, and Mission on Soil Health and Food. In addition to a high-level panel, the forum will establish a series of dedicated Working Groups to address burning scientific and policy questions such as soil monitoring, citizen engagement, soil pollution, erosion, and biodiversity. Participants will be encouraged to engage in discussions and contribute to the Working Groups.
2021 EU Conference on modelling for policy support: collaborating across disciplines to tackle key policy challenges, 22–26 November 2021
Supported by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, this 4-day conference will bring together researchers and policymakers from European and international institutions, Member States, universities, research institutes, and consultancies to identify common challenges that arise when using models to support policymaking as well as potential solutions. This event will include both high-level speakers and highly interactive sessions, enabling an exchange of experiences and best practices between scientists and policymakers.
The EuroScience Open Forum, 13-16 July 2022
Although not until July 2022, submitting an abstract to the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) can be a very rewarding experience – and one that needs to be done by 15 November 2021. ESOF is the largest interdisciplinary meeting on science and innovation in Europe, for and with society. Every two years, ESOF brings together over 4,500 leading thinkers, innovators, policymakers, journalists, and educators to discuss current and future breakthroughs in contemporary science. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about different scientific areas, overarching issues, and topics, and connect with non-scientists who are working in similar areas.
Attending an event (virtually or in-person) can be a great way of learning more about a specific policy area and help you get more involved in science for policy. Listening to the concerns of policymakers can help you better understand their needs and joining an open discussion (or asking your own questions) can help connect you with others working in a similar area! Policy events are now more accessible than ever before… so what are you waiting for?