GeoLog

Programme Committee

Accessibility at the General Assembly 2019

Accessibility at the General Assembly 2019

In just a couple of weeks, thousands of geoscience professionals from around the world will convene in Vienna, Austria to take part in the EGU General Assembly, the largest geoscience conference in Europe! It’s important to the EGU that scientists are able to attend and enjoy this annual meeting to the fullest. Here are a few of the ways EGU’s annual meeting strives to accommodate our diverse community of geoscientists:

Navigating the convention centre

The EGU General Assembly is held in the Austria Center Vienna, which is fully accessible by wheelchair. If you would like to learn more about attending the General Assembly in a wheelchair, Robin Wilson from the University of Southampton shared his experience at EGU 2016 in this blog post. While a few things have changed since then, the majority of Robin’s report still holds.

Poster halls have chairs available for people to sit down if needed and steps to help presenters hang up their posters. Additionally, each PICO Spot has a lower screen available for increased accessibility. Presentation rooms won’t be equipped with red laser pointers, as some people struggle to distinguish the laser dot from bright screens. Instead we encourage participants to highlight features from their slides using the screen’s cursor, which is more accommodating to everyone’s needs. On rooms with multiple screens, the screen’s cursor is also the only way to point to a feature on all screens simultaneously. In the 12 smaller rooms that have no lecterns, green laser pointers will be available for use instead.

Making room

The EGU child care facility at the General Assembly 2017. Childcare services at EGU 2019 will be for ages 3–11. (Photo credit: EGU / Kai Boggild)

This year a number of rooms will be available during the General Assembly to ensure that participants can enjoy the conference activities, while still being able to take care of their personal needs.

Assembly attendees with young children can take advantage of our free child care facilities, which expanded this year to accommodate more people, at the basement level of the centre (book in advance). EGU’s childcare service is now fully booked, but for children younger than 3 years or older than 11 years, you can get in touch with the Kinderbüro Universität Wien GmbH to make arrangements in Vienna. Please note that this may incur separate costs that are not borne by the conference.

This year a breastfeeding room located on the ground floor will also be available to participants.

EGU 2019 participants can find space for rest, relaxation or meditation in the four quiet rooms available at the basement level, as well as use the two multi-faith prayer rooms, separated by gender, on the ground floor.

Accessible Vienna

Vienna has been praised by many for being one of the most accessible cities in Europe. Over the last 20 years, the city has been working towards becoming “barrier-free,” implementing many initiatives with accessibility in mind. For example, the city has replaced much of their cobblestones with flat, smooth surfaces and ramped kerbs. Most trains, trams and buses also feature low floors and step-free boarding options. Additionally, almost all stations are accessible by ramp or elevator and have “guiding strips” for visually-impaired visitors. You can go to the Vienna Tourist Board website to find accommodating hotels, specialised tour guides, recommended sights and services, and other information on the city’s accessibility.

Most trains, trams and buses in Vienna feature low floors and step-free boarding options. Additionally, almost all stations are accessible by ramp or elevator and have guiding strips for visually-impaired visitors (Photo credit: AndyLeungHK via Pixabay

Participants are encouraged to give the EGU suggestions for how we can continue to improve the EGU meeting’s accessibility. You can give us general feedback when answering the 2019 General Assembly feedback survey and send more specific recommendations to the EGU Programme Committee chair.

The EGU General Assembly will take place from 07 to 12 April 2019 in Vienna, Austria. For the full session programme and more information on the General Assembly, see the EGU 2019 website and follow us on Twitter (#EGU19 is the official conference hashtag) and Facebook.

Help shape the conference programme: Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions at the 2019 General Assembly

Help shape the conference programme: Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions at the 2019 General Assembly

Do you enjoy the EGU’s annual General Assembly but wish you could play a more active role in shaping the scientific programme? Now is your chance! But hurry, the session submission deadline is fast approaching. You’ve got until September 6th to propose changes.

As well as the standard scientific sessions, subdivided by Programme Groups, EGU coordinates Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions (ITS) at the conference.

Now, you may be asking yourself: what exactly are ITS?

  • Interdisciplinarity looks for links between disciplines in a coordinated and coherent effort, with the aim of creating new approaches that would not be possible if handled separately.
  • Transdisciplinarity transcends traditional boundaries of disciplines by reaching out to, for example, social, economic, and political sciences.

The Earth, oceans, space and society are interconnected in many different ways; rarely can one system be perturbed without others being affected too.

The aim of ITS is to foster and facilitate exchange of knowledge both across scientific divisions. These sessions should either link disciplines within the geosciences in a novel way to address specific (and often new) problems (interdisciplinary sessions) or link the geosciences to other disciplines, in particular from the humanities, to address societal challenges (transdisciplinary sessions).

If inter- and transdisciplinarity is important to you and your work, know that you too can co-organise your session as an Inter- and Transdisciplinary Session. Read on to discover how!

The skeleton programme for the 2019 General Assembly currently features three ITS themes and a general open call for ITS sessions:

  • ITS1: History of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences
  • ITS2: Resources and the energy transition
  • ITS3: Contributions of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences to changes in society
  • ITS4: Open call for ITS sessions

Sessions within each of these ITS themes will be scheduled closely together, to foster cross-division links and collaborations.

To propose a session in one of the planned inter- and transdisciplinary themes, follow these simple steps:

  • Visit the ITS pages on the EGU 2019 website
  • Suggest a new session (within one of the four ITS options)
  • Choose a Programme Group that will be the scientific leader. For example, if you choose BG, your session will be listed in the programme as ITS/BG
  • Suggest more Programme Groups for co-organisation in the comment box

Wondering whether your session would fit as an ITS? Just ask ITS Programme Group Chairs, Peter van der Beek (its@egu.eu) or Susanne Buiter (programme.committee@egu.eu).

Peter and Susanne, are looking forward to a strong inter- and transdisciplinary programme at the 2019 General Assembly. But they need your help to achieve this!

You can also find more information about the call for sessions (and the organisation of the scientific programme in general) on the EGU 2019 website.

The EGU’s 2018 General Assembly, takes place in Vienna from 7 to 12 April, 2019. For more news about the upcoming General Assembly, you can also follow the official hashtag, #EGU19, on our social media channels.

Shape the EGU 2019 scientific programme: The call for sessions is open!

Shape the EGU 2019 scientific programme: The call for sessions is open!

Do you enjoy the EGU’s annual General Assembly but wish you could play a more active role in shaping the scientific programme? Now is your chance!

From today, until 6 Sep 2018, you can suggest:

  • Sessions (with conveners and description),
  • Short Courses, or;
  • Modifications to the existing skeleton programme sessions

Plus from now until 18 January 2019, you can propose townhall meetings. It’s important to note that, for this year’s General Assembly, session proposals for Union Symposia and Great Debates are due by 15 August 2018.

Explore the EGU 2019 Programme Groups (PGs) to get a feel for the already proposed sessions and to decide which PG would be the best fit for your session. When proposing a session, it’s strongly encouraged to form convener teams that reflect diversity in countries/institutes, gender and career level. A minimum of two conveners  and a maximum of five conveners per session is generally desirable.

Does your idea for a session fall under the remit of two (or more) PGs? Co-organization is possible and encouraged between groups! Put your session proposal into one PG, and you will be able to choose other PGs that you believe should be approached for co-organization.

EGU introduced the programme group Interdisciplinary Events (IE) in 2016, which has now been renamed to Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions (ITS). ITS looks for links between disciplines in a coordinated and coherent effort, trying to create new approaches that would not be possible if handled separately. ITS has four sub-programme groups that highlight new themes each year. If you plan to propose an Inter- and Transdisciplinary Session, please submit your proposal in programme group ITS and indicate relevant other programme groups in the session description or comment box. For ITS sessions we kindly ask to identify another programme group that becomes the scientific leader of the event. Accepted ITS sessions will be part of the session programme of the scientific leader in addition to the ITS programme.

The PG officers are on-hand to answer questions about the appropriateness of a specific session topic, so don’t hesitate to contact them if you have queries! You can also find more information about the call for sessions (and the organisation of the scientific programme in general) on the EGU 2019 website.

The EGU’s 2019 General Assembly, takes place in Vienna from 7 to 12 April, 2018. For more news about the upcoming General Assembly, you can also follow the offical hashtag, #EGU19, on our social media channels.

Young scientists – meet your representative!

Hello, my name is Sam Illingworth and as well as being a postdoctoral research assistant at the University of Manchester, I will be taking over from Jennifer Holden as the Young Scientist representative for the EGU’s Programme Committee, which coordinates the annual General Assembly.

I studied for my PhD at the University of Leicester between 2007 and 2010, investigating the capability of the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI), on board the MetOp-A satellite, for making measurements of carbon monoxide from space. During my time at Leicester I was fortunate enough to be involved in outreach work with a number of different primary and secondary schools, and also to have a supervisor who encouraged me to channel my love of acting into these outreach activities.

On the back of these successful ventures into theatrical scientific expression, I spent the next two years living and working in Japan, on a scholarship awarded to me by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese foundation. During this time I was able to further develop my methodology of using theatrical technique to improve effective scientific communication. I went on to develop and lecture a course at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, which used these methods to improve the communicative skills of young researchers.

Sam Illingworth – the new young scientist representative on the Programme Committee!

Sam Illingworth – the new young scientist representative on the Programme Committee. (Credit: Sam Illingworth)

My time in Japan lead to a similar posting at Tsinghua University in Beijing, before I headed back to the UK, where I began my current position at the Centre for Atmospheric Sciences in 2012. Since then I have been busy developing a technique for making remote sensing measurements of greenhouse gases from an airborne device, which has essentially involved porting the work that I did for the IASI instrument down to a similar piece of kit on board the UK’s Atmospheric Research Aircraft. A lot of my work is centred on trying to better understand the significance of wetlands as a source of methane, and I have been lucky enough to travel up to the Arctic Circle in order to do this!

As well as my scientific research I am also involved with a lot of outreach work at the University, including helping to co-host the Barometer, a fun and informative podcast about atmospheric science. I was also asked to develop a communications lecture course for the University, which I have started teaching this term, together with numerous other workshops and seminars that I give to students and young researchers on behalf of the University’s careers centre and Learning Commons.

I am extremely excited to be beginning my new role as the young scientist representative for EGU, and I hope that I can build on the excellent work that Jennifer has already done in developing an articulate and personable voice for this important group of researchers. I would like to begin by saying that I intend on operating a (virtual) door-open policy, and that if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions then I would love to hear them.

I look forward to meeting you all over the course of the next year, whether that be via email (samuel.illingworth@manchester.ac.uk), Twitter (@samillingworth),  or even better in person in Vienna at EGU 2014.