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GeoPolicy: Science for Policy at the 2019 General Assembly!

GeoPolicy: Science for Policy at the 2019 General Assembly!

The EGU General Assembly is the largest geoscience meeting in Europe. Not only does it have a diverse array of sessions that you can attend within your own area of expertise but there are also thousands of sessions that will be outside of your research field, as well as sessions on topics that can be applied to a wide range of scientific divisions, jobs and industries – such as science for policy

The line-up for the 2019 EGU General Assembly includes Short Courses, Disciplinary Sessions, Townhall Meetings, Interdisciplinary Sessions and Union-wide Sessions that focus on various aspects of science-policy. Even if you’re just a bit curious about science for policy, it’s definitely worth adding a couple of the policy related sessions outlined below into your #EGU19 schedule!

Science and Society (SCS)

Science and Society is the new union-wide session format that provides a space to host scientific forums dedicated to connecting with high-level institutions and engaging the public and policymakers.

  • Plan-S: Should scientific publishers be forced to go Open Access: With support from the European Commission and European Research Council, plan S demands that research supported by participating funders must be published in Open Access journals by January 1, 2020. This session will debate the questions surrounding the implementation of the plan and its consequences.
  • Past and future tipping points and large climate transitions in Earth history: This session will discuss the advances in modeling forces triggering and amplifying Earth’s climate and carbon cycle. Given that Earth’s climate is currently experiencing an unprecedented transition under anthropogenic pressure, understanding the mechanisms behind the scene is vital and can help steer policy.

Short Courses (SC)

Disciplinary Sessions

Please keep in mind, that this isn’t an exhaustive list! There are a lot of other sessions at the EGU that can either be directly linked with science for policy or that include research relevant for policymakers. You can find more policy-related sessions on the EGU General Assembly Programme (which you can access online and via the EGU2019 mobile app) and through the General Assembly special sessions page. This page tags sessions under the categories of policy, diversity, media, early career scientists and public engagement so that GA participants with an interest in these topics can find relevant sessions quickly. If you think a session or event within one of these categories is missing, please email the EGU Media and Communications Manager at media@egu.eu with a link to the session, and the category where it should be listed and why.

If you have any further questions or comments regarding the EGU General Assembly’s policy activities, feel free to get in touch via email or come and meet me and the rest of the EGU office in person at the EGU Booth on Friday April 12, 10:15–10:45.

 

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.

Make your EGU 2019 experience more environmentally friendly

Make your EGU 2019 experience more environmentally friendly

The annual EGU General Assembly, the largest geoscience conference in Europe, attracts more than 15,000 attendees to Vienna, Austria every year. With such a large number of participants, many flying to the Austrian capital to attend, the meeting has a large environmental impact.

Given this, the EGU is implementing a number of initiatives towards minimising the General Assembly’s carbon footprint. Today we’ve compiled a few of the ways the EGU is working to make your conference experience more environmentally friendly, and how you can help.

Travelling responsibly

The environmental cost of travelling hundreds to thousands of kilometres for a science meeting cannot be ignored.

To reduce this impact, we encourage participants to travel by train to Vienna when possible. For example, we are promoting a discount offered by SBB, the Swiss Federal Railways, to General Assembly participants traveling from Zurich, Switzerland to the meeting. As in previous years, we also encourage participants to use public transportation once in Vienna by including a weekly transportation pass with every week ticket to the meeting.

Looking for ways to make your conference travel carbon neutral? As a repeat from last year, we are giving meeting participants the opportunity to offset the CO2 emissions resulting from their travel to and from Vienna. To take part, simply select the ‘offset your carbon footprint’ option if registering online or through the on-site terminal stationed in the entrance hall of the convention centre.

Depending on the origin of your travel we charge you an amount to compensate your CO2 emissions. The money collected from you will then be forwarded to the Carbon Footprint campaign to be invested in one of the three projects participants can choose from.

If you opt to offset your carbon emissions, the money collected from you will then be forwarded to carbonfootprint.com to be invested in one of these three projects.

This carbon offset initiative was introduced during the 2018 General Assembly, with about 4,800 attendees, almost one third of the total meeting participants, taking part! We collectively raised nearly €17,000 for the carbon offsetting scheme, which was donated to a project that aims to reduce deforestation in Brazil.

Reducing and reusing

At the conference venue, the Austria Center Vienna (ACV), the EGU has been implementing several environmental measures with our carbon footprint in mind. The following actions from the EGU are focused on limiting the amount of waste generated at the meeting:

  • EGU’s daily newsletter at the General Assembly, EGU Today, will now only be available online, and we are moving towards producing digital versions of the programme book exclusively.
  • Carpeting will be limited to the poster halls on the basement level.
  • Lanyards used at the conference will be produced using 100% recycled material, and the badges contain FSC-recycled paper, which can be recycled in the paper products bins.
  • The plenary and division meetings will serve lunch bags with recyclable PET bottles, which will have designated boxes for disposal by the exits of the rooms.
  • Single-use water bottles will not be offered at coffee breaks. Instead water fountains will be placed throughout the centre. Bringing your own water bottle and mug for hot drinks is highly encouraged! We will also sell multi-use water bottles and coffee mugs at the EGU booth.

The ACV also has a number of green measures in place, including having energy-saving LEDs throughout the centre, using a solar array to heat the water used in the kitchens and toilets, and working with an in-house catering company compliant with green standards.

Join the discussion

If you would like to learn more about the EGU’s efforts to make the General Assembly more sustainable and share your own ideas to make the meeting more environmentally friendly, we encourage to participate in the townhall session “The carbon footprint of EGU’s General Assembly,” taking place on Thursday 11 April, 19:00-20:00 in room -2.47 of the convention centre.

The EGU General Assembly is taking place in Vienna, Austria from 7 to 12 April. Check out the full session programme on the General Assembly website and follow the Assembly’s online conversation on Twitter (#EGU19 is the official conference hashtag) and Facebook.

EGU 2019: Getting to Vienna, getting to sleep and getting to know the city

EGU 2019: Getting to Vienna, getting to sleep and getting to know the city

With the conference only a few weeks away here is a brief, and by no means comprehensive, introduction of how to get to Vienna and what to do when you’re there!

Getting here

Vienna’s International Airport is served by many of the major European airlines. If you would like to consider reaching Vienna by train or bus you’ll find more information on the General Assembly websiteSince 2018, the EGU gives General Assembly participants the opportunity to offset the carbon emissions resulting from their travel to and from Vienna by contributing to a carbon offsetting scheme when they register to the meeting. You can find more information on how to make your travel to the EGU meeting carbon neutral also on our website.

And, if you haven’t seen it already, make sure you check out the General Assembly guide, which is full of even more hints and tips on how to get to Vienna and get ready for the conference.

Getting to sleep

An abundance of accommodation options can be found on the EGU 2019 website. But if you’re not a fan of hotels, there are a variety of alternatives in Vienna. Here are a few examples!

If you’re looking for a low cost option, there are a host of hostels in Vienna, just check these sites:

And, if you’d like to feel more at home, or stay in a flat with fellow geoscientists, you can consider the apartments available in Vienna:

Getting to know Vienna

Vienna’s Prater Park. Credit: Michal Jarmoluk (distributed via pixabay.com)

The Vienna tourist board has all you need to know about sightseeing, shows, shopping, dining and other information about Vienna and you can top this information up with this list of the city’s museums.

Tourist information offices can be found in the Arrivals Hall of Vienna International Airport or at the Tourist Information Centre, which sits behind the Vienna State Opera (the Tourist Information Centre is open daily 09:00-19:00 and you can access it from the U-bahn stop Albertinaplatz/Maysedergasse). Additionally, there is another tourist information office located in the main train station, the Hauptbahnhof, also accessible on the U-bahn. It is also open Mon-Sun from 09:00-19:00.

If you’ve been before and can recommend a good spot for dinner, or something to do when you have a little down time, feel free to make suggestions in the comments!

The EGU General Assembly is taking place in Vienna, Austria from 7 to 12 April. Check out the full session programme, for a complete list of short courses available, on the General Assembly website.