It is nearly time for the next installment of the European Geosciences Union conference. Held in beautiful Vienna, the conference brings together thousands of researchers working in Earth Sciences. I’ve waxed lyrical before about this conference in a previous blog. I’ve also tried to summarise what I feel are important justifications for attending conferences, such as the EGU. I would like to focus on a key element leading up-to this years conference: The collaborative environment
I feel we often overlook the importance of environments that encourage innovation in academia. Some might say we are simply too busy. Cant the environment be part of the solution? Evidence tends to focus on highly successful companies such as tech giants Google or Apple. For me, this environment isn’t just defined by the confines of your local office or school boundary. It extends across faculty and it extends across international boundaries. This includes meetings and conferences. The EGU gives us an opportunity to be exposed to the huge family of researchers across our field. By removing us from the local work environment, collaborative meetings can feel refreshing. Hell, even wandering into a field that you might be considered tangential to your own is a good shot in the arm that might kick start ideas. Meeting up with colleagues to discuss emerging, and new, avenues of work is supported by the subconscious feel of being part of a much wider and successful movement. Discourse is important. Bouncing ideas of people you might never have met after a talk or poster, can be part of a unique learning experience.
I have suggested attending a conference is useful even without an abstract submission, and I still feel this is the case if you can justify it financially. As an editor for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (http://www.atmospheric-chemistry-and-physics.net/index.html), one of many journals managed by the overarching governing body of the EGU, Copernicus (http://publications.copernicus.org/), I’m proud to be associated and to help such a movement. Given events that unfolded recently in the UK, I shall we wearing my EGU badge with even more pride than I ever thought possible.
You can check this year programme at the following link:http://www.egu2017.eu/
Will you be joining us in Vienna? Drop me a line if you want to talk about cross-over research interests over a coffee :).