7 December 2015

AGU Meetings – Scientific & Social By Design

Posted by Chris McEntee

The 2015 AGU Fall Meeting is just around the corner and we at AGU are making final preparations for what promises to be another remarkable convening of the Earth and space sciences. In addition to the robust scientific program that is the heart of the meeting, I’m excited about the diversity of activities we are presenting this year – from skills-building workshops to networking and celebratory events. And as much as I’m looking forward to participating in this amazing meeting in person, I’m also really looking forward to engaging with you all, and the meeting content, virtually.

AGU has been active on social media several years; Twitter, Facebook, our blogs, Tumbler, Instagram and other tools are an increasingly influential means of networked communications. Social media has become integral to spreading the knowledge and ideas shared at our meetings and in our publications across the scientific community, and it is helping to create a bridge between our science and the interests of the broader public.

For example, in previous years, the Fall Meeting has garnered worldwide attention on Twitter, where, for example, #AGU14 trended worldwide for much of the week. In addition to the thousands of attendees sharing their experiences from the meeting, many more amplified the impact of the Fall Meeting from afar.

Perhaps this should not be a surprise. We are all witness to how the forms and tools of communication continue to change rapidly, and we see how social media is playing an increasingly important role in our daily lives, both as individuals and as members of an extended scientific community. In addition to the focused attention to social media at the Fall Meeting, AGU uses social media to engage members, the Earth and space science community, and others who share our interests throughout the year.

Because meetings provide a unique and valuable opportunity for the Earth and space science community and those who care about our work to engage on many levels, we welcome its use by all meeting attendees: scientists, students, colleagues, members of the media and bloggers, and others. By inviting the use of social media at our meetings, we can collectively create a more engaging and inclusive meeting experience for those attending, as well as for those who are unable to attend but who still wish to participate.

I encourage you to read the guidelines (below). If you currently use social media as part of your meeting experience, I think you will find them very clear, and very helpful. If you haven’t used social media as part of your meeting experience in the past, I believe that they provide a framework for participation that should help you comfortably join the conversation. As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to comment here, or reach out to me or our social media team.

Social Media Guidelines for AGU Meetings

AGU asks that participants at all AGU meetings, including the Fall Meeting, observe these guidelines:

Scope of Use

  • The use of social media during all oral and poster sessions, lectures, keynotes, town halls, and social events is welcomed, including live tweeting.
  • AGU encourages participants to include the meeting hashtag (such as #AGU15 for the 2015 Fall Meeting) in all tweets to increase engagement, and to employ other commonly used hashtags.
  • Photography, video and audio recording by individuals for personal use only is allowed at social events, in the Exhibit Hall and in public spaces throughout the meeting. Please be respectful and considerate of others.
  • Photography, video and audio recording of oral sessions and posters, and lectures and keynotes is not allowed.

AGU staff and AGU-sponsored photographers, videographers and science writers capture content from selected sessions, lectures, keynotes and town halls, and much of that content will be shared by AGU on social media. The AGU On Demand program also provides another avenue for sharing science and presentations from the meeting with selected videos of sessions and lectures that are free of charge and open to everyone.

Social Media Best Practices

The Fall Meeting Code of Conduct and AGU Scientific Integrity and Ethics Policy provide excellent overall guidance for all meeting attendees and participants in the scientific endeavor. In particular, we ask social media users to:

  • Treat all participants, attendees, AGU staff, and vendors with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions.
  • Be respectful and collaborative.
  • Communicate openly with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  • Avoid personal attacks directed toward other attendees, participants, AGU staff, and suppliers/vendors.