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A private diary from a science fanatic perspective

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EGU2022 – A personal diary from a science enthusiast perspective

Posted on 27 Might 2022 by BaerbelW

After two years of Corona-induced on-line conferences in 2020 and 2021, this 12 months’s General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) began on Monday Might 23 each on premise in Vienna and on-line as a hybrid convention. I spent the entire week in Vienna, choosing and chosing classes I used to be eager about. This weblog put up might be a compilation – a sort of diary – of the happenings from my perspective.

As this put up is pretty massive, you may leap to the totally different days, through these hyperlinks:

Monday – Tuesday – WednesdayThursdayFriday


Every day was structured into 1.5-hour session timeslots which consisted of 15 to twenty quick orals the place every presenting creator had at most 3 to five minutes to share her or his summary in a sort of elevator pitch with time for 1 or 2 questions on the finish earlier than it was the following creator’s flip. This clearly solely allowed for very quick and time blocked shows with at most a handful of slides. Longer shows might nevertheless be uploaded to go together with the summary the place offline discussions had been potential and inspired as nicely.

Monday, Might 23

EGU Today

Having already picked up my badge on Sunday afternoon, I might skip the expectedly lengthy registration line and straight proceed to the primary session I had put onto my agenda which began at 8:30: EOS1.1, Science and Society: Science Communication Practice, Research, and Reflection. Due to the numerous submitted abstracts, EOS1.1 had been given two 90 minute timeslots they usually had been actually worthwhile listening to. We heard a few Climate Action HackathonImmersive storytellingIllustrating Climate which is a Dutch web site offering quick solutions to climate-related questions (example via Twitter), Imagine it’s climate crisis – and nobody gives a sh**! to call only a few. All of the abstracts are publicly accessible already and plenty of longer shows will change into open entry after June 30.

After the lunch break, I went to the quick course SC3.6/EOS2.4 which requested the considerably rhetorical query „Scared of giving presentations?“. As a result of the room was already approach too crowded and spilling over into the hallway once I acquired there, I discovered a desk on an out of doors terrace and joined the session on-line through Zoom. This labored fairly nicely and is – in my view – one other benefit of organizing a hybrid convention as all of the classes are streamed on-line anyway making entry simple so long as you may have a secure web connection. Sitting exterior in balmy spring climate with out the necessity to put on a masks was a particular bonus! The presenters shared a number of useful ideas and tips of the right way to keep away from – or at the least subdue – stage fright.


As becoming a member of the session through Zoom had labored nicely I did the identical factor for the short course SC2.6 about growing your scientific network. The session was aimed toward early profession scientists (ECS) and was fairly in style with folks sitting on the ground within the room and standing within the doorway. So, sitting simply exterior the room‘s window on the terrace at a desk was much more comfy for varied causes! Whereas most of the recommendations had been geared in direction of scientists, some additionally apply to science communicators, like for instance these:

  • Use social media: twitter is (normally) a pleasant place for scientists
  • Join with folks on Twitter / LinkedIn by commenting posts
  • Change contact particulars, enterprise playing cards, twitter handles
  • Observe up on a primary assembly
  • Contact authors after studying their fascinating paper
  • Make your self seen on the web

To wrap up day 1 of EGU22 I joined session SC3.8 Rhyme your research which had been a enjoyable expertise the opposite occasions I had already participated on this annual providing. Tim van Emmerik led this 12 months‘s session as a result of Sam Illingworth couldn‘t make it to Vienna this 12 months. We did a few quick workouts, jotting down phrases associated to geoscience, tried to discover a time period for every letter of the alphabet, had to supply the second a part of a sentence he gave us the primary a part of, then reduce up the paper and blend the 2 elements of the sentences in order that one thing else – usually now not coherent – was created. We then in contrast our outcomes to that of the individual sitting subsequent to us attempting to establish which scrambled sentences would possibly make for good elements of a primary and second line of a „poem“. Lastly, we merged our musings with these of two different individuals and fairly some fascinating mixtures had been created as this tweeted example exhibits! As in earlier years, this was a enjoyable technique to finish a convention day!

Tuesday, Might 24

EGU Today

The main target of the 2nd day at EGU22 for me was on Geoethics, a subject I had heard about earlier than however couldn‘t actually correctly place. Provided that I used to be a co-convener on a townhall assembly associated to each local weather literacy and geoethics afterward the day, I spent the afternoon in session EOS4.1 so as to brush up my understanding. The session titled „Geoethics in the face of global anthropogenic changes: how do we intersect different knowledge domains?“ had acquired nearly 20 submitted abstracts and was subsequently given two timeslots with a espresso break in between. 

In case you – like me – don‘t know what Geoethics are all about, here’s a definition proven throughout the session:


As I discovered throughout the session, there are numerous aspects to Geoethics. Listed here are only a few which stood out for me (there’s extra info on the IAPG-website):

  • Is it moral to construct a dam if it destroys habitats and doubtlessly disrupts water circulate downstream but in addition reduces uncontrolled flooding and supplies electrical energy for folks?
  • Is it okay to dig up „stuff“ if this on the identical time destroys the geological reminiscence?
  • Many research can’t be reproduced as a result of their object of research might have been an enormous volcanic eruption, the devastation brought on by a hurricane or a tsunami. Neither of which might – or ought to! – be recreated simply to make the research “reproducable”.
  • Lots of the present points like human-caused local weather change are occuring as a result of Geology supplies the data of the place and the right way to dig up coal or drill for oil and fuel. Do geologists subsequently have a duty to repair the problems brought on by their analysis?
  • There are sometimes moral challenges with gathering knowledge and likewise making the collected knowledge as accessible as potential.
  • Is it moral for educators to show geology college students about extracting fossil fuels regardless that we all know concerning the impacts burning these assets will trigger?

After a brief break it was time for EOS1.8 Local weather & ocean literacy: Serving to folks to care ethically inside planetary boundaries with shows about varied tasks associated to instructional alternatives. Listed here are some highlights:

Day 2 wrapped up with Townhall Meeting TM8 to explore the nexus between geoethics and climate change education for which I discovered myself sitting on the panel subsequent to Sylvia Knight from the Royal Meteorological Society within the United Kingdom of Nice Britain, Eduardo Marone from FUNPAR, CEM-UFPR in Brazil, Sabine Undorf from Potsdam Institute for Local weather Affect Analysis in Germany and as a particular visitor Svitlana Krakovska, Senior Scientist, Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute and IPCC creator. Svitlana had made the information after her „fossil gasoline battle“ feedback made on the on-line gathering to approve the abstract of the newest IPCC 6 report back to be launched on February 28 only a few days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Cleantechnica has an article about Svitlana as does the Guardian.

Wednesday Might 25

EGU Today

The morning began early for me with becoming a member of quick course SC2.3 The role of scientific institutions in policymaking as I believed it’d present some useful pointers for my involvement with Residents Local weather Foyer in Germany. It nevertheless turned out that among the outlined competencies additionally overlap rather a lot with what we do at Skeptical Science, specifically competency #14 throughout the Speaking Cluster C: Coping with mis- and disinformation. Every competentcy has 4 ranges of proficiency from foundational through intermediate and superior to professional. That is an official EU Fee undertaking which may already be found online here however will not be but full. It‘s freely accessible for anyone from wherever and will turn out to be useful for a lot of organizations coping with coverage.


From the Competence Framework – to make use of the interactive graphic, go to the web site and transfer the cursor over the primary competencies to see the small print.

The subsequent session was one other quick course for me: SC3.3 Writing the IPCC AR6 report: behind the scenes. It began off with a fast spherical of true & false questions and a fast rundown of what the IPCC is. After a brief presentation, it was time for a query and reply session with IPCC AR6 authors. Being an IPCC-author is voluntary work and may be fairly demanding so far as time committment is worried. This was very true for the Working Group 1 report concerning the bodily science the place a whole lot of the reviewing needed to be performed just about as a consequence of COVID-19 making bodily conferences inconceivable. On-line conferences subsequently tended to occur always of the day, even in the midst of the evening relying on the place authors had been positioned.

My afternoon began with a really artistic session: EOS1.2 Exploring the Art-Science Interface. The quick shows coated the whole lot from poetry, to music, to graphics and far more:

Afterwards it was playtime with session EOS1.3 Games for Geosciences chaired by Rolf Hut during which I briefly launched the individuals within the packed convention room to our Cranky Uncle recreation. Judging from the reactions, it was the primary time lots of them heard about Cranky Uncle and it was reassuring that the viewers laughed each every now and then throughout my 3 minute pitch. Some apparently downloaded the sport straight away and others intend to so later. The detailed presentation concerning the Cranky Uncle recreation may be opened and downloaded in PDF format (2.1MB) here. A PDF-version of the quick “pitch” presentation is available here.


Tweet on the left from Daan Reijnders and the one on the correct from Rolf Hut.

Different shows within the session defined how Minecraft could be utilized, how geological mapping could be taught with virtual reality (offered by the author‘s avatar!), QUARTETnary – The card game about the geological time scale (with fantastically designed playing cards!)role-play gaming to teach „environmental impact assessment,ClimarisQ: a Smartphone game to spotlight the complexity of the Local weather Programs and the impacts of Excessive Occasions (at presentavailable for Android and browser), Gaming towards a sustainable futureThe Trilogy of Ocean, Climate and Coast: The Urgency and Exigency of Literacy 

Thursday Might 26

EGU Today

My day began with quick course SC3.5 about Scientific visualisation: Visualise your data effectively and avoid common pitfalls which offered some useful ideas of the right way to create good graphics and what to keep away from like e.g. the favored rainbow shade scheme. The quick course was offered by members of the Younger Hydrologists Society (YHS) they usually made their presentation available on their web site. They particularly highlighted Fabio Crameri‘s work who supplies recommendations for shade schemes which can even work for folks affected by shade blindness.

As I didn‘t have some other classes chosen to go to, I relocated to terrace G to take a seat exterior within the recent air once more. Round midday I met with Jan Chylík who had kindly stuffed out our Google form to assist with translations of the Cranky Uncle recreation, in his case into Czech. At any time when folks fill out the shape I normally despatched them an e mail with the related details about this considerably particular translation exercise. So, it was good to really meet in individual and share „some“ info nose to nose. Jan‘s supply is the primary for a translation into Czech and it‘s normally good to work as a group of three to five folks. So, when you learn this and per likelihood have an interest to become involved, please fill out the shape as Jan did and I‘ll be in contact quickly.

Friday Might 27

EGU Today

The final day of EGU22 began with an awesome debate: GDB2 – Climate change is a code red for humanity: What does this mean for the earth science community? The panel was chaired by Nick Everand and Chloe Hill and had Daniel Parsons (College of Hull, UK), Peter Gluckman, (International Science Council, New Zealand), Simon Clark (UK) and Jenny Turton (Arctic Frontiers, Norway) on the panel. The vigorous debate was far-ranging, protecting statements like „scientists ought to infiltrate the whole lot“, that they should assist combat misinformation, how scientists might and will become involved on-line and much more. The controversy was recorded, so there ought to be a video on Youtube someday down the road and I‘ll swap the nonetheless picture to the video if/as soon as it turns into accessible. It will be 90 minutes very worthwhile watching!


After this fascinating debate, I headed all the way down to terrace G but once more, this time to satisfy with Marine Poizat who – identical to Jan talked about above – had stuffed out the Google kind after listening to my quick speak concerning the Cranky Uncle recreation. Marine was to assist with the French translation, one of many languages already within the works and pretty far progressed. After explaining some particulars concerning the recreation and our translation setup, I supplied to test with the group at present engaged on the duty to see the place they nonetheless would possibly need assistance and the place a “recent set of eyes” would possibly turn out to be useful. Provided that along with the sport itself we even have some supporting materials just like the Teachers’ Guide, I am pretty sure that there will be some choices for Marine to become involved!

A subsequent journey to the restrooms proved fairly nicely timed as I ran right into a younger German scientist engaged on soils (sorry, forgot to jot down her identify). We acquired speaking about why we had been at EGU22 and it turned out that she had additionally seen my presentation and that – like others – it was the primary time for her to have heard about Cranky Uncle. We went out to the terrace collectively and sat for some time with a colleague of her and I had yet one more alternative to speak about fighting misinformation with the assistance of Cranky Uncle and our varied handbooks. All these likelihood encounters are why I feel that in individual conferences are nonetheless wanted regardless that digital or hybrid ones will clearly additionally stick round for varied causes. They’re going to then “simply” have to discover a means to supply venues for these kind of encounters as nicely.

And with that it was a wrap for me at this 12 months’s General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union and I already hope to be again subsequent 12 months because it’s such an fascinating expertise!


Last Musings

Some would possibly surprise why I even hassle to spend money and time to attend a scientific convention contemplating that I haven’t got a science background. Nonetheless, as I am what some name a citizen scientist and others a science nerd, I do not really feel fully misplaced when mingling with hundreds of scienctists. There are such a lot of classes to choose and selected from with lots of them falling into the communications and/or schooling areas that are very relevant exterior of academia as nicely. As this lengthy weblog put up exhibits, there are “rife pickings” to be made, usually even from surprising classes! Having mentioned that and when you – like me – are a science fanatic, I would actually wish to encourage you to offer it a attempt to take part in such a big convention, be it on premise or digital! 

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