AGU March 2020 Council Meeting Wrap-up


By: Rosie Oakes, Early Career Scientists and Council Leadership Team

We’ve come to the end of our March Council meeting,

And I’ve been asked to summarize in case you’ve been sleeping.


With talk of new partners and international collaboration,

I present you with a transdisciplinary science-art demonstration.


The new strategic plan was the best place to start,

Determining what the AGU is at its very heart.


Are we THE community for Earth science who partners with all,

Or are we just A group of scientists who like to meet up each fall?


We envisage a group that values integrity, respect, and inclusion,

Engaging a global community to reach a novel solution(s).


But is there a big enough mention of research of the Earth and space?

Or will some of our members feel like they no longer have a place.


The discussion morphed into exploring new opportunities,

It was big-thinking time, a world of endless possibilities.


We discussed how our science reaches the world best,

Russian pirate sites, pay walls, or snail mail requests.


Is it crazy to dream of open access for all?

And will interdisciplinary science lead to a publications overhaul?


Will our YouTube videos be subject to peer review edits,

And will our discussions be highlighted through an AGU Reddit?


Then onto meetings, what’s the next thing to do?

Could a hub and spoke model bring AGU closer to you?


Can AGU take the lead in developing carbon neutral meetings,

Supporting virtual input and coronavirus-safe greetings.


We can do it, we know, we had virtual council participation,

Connecting with our quarantined pals from many nations.


With new partners and members, so much we’ll be gaining,

But to make this all work we might need some training.


Communication came out as an overarching theme,

Respecting language, culture, background, and everything in between.


Or as put by our colleagues from Aus and near Amsterdam,



We wrapped up the day with a panel on policy,

To understand how top level decisions affect you and me.


How will U.S. scientists do research with dwindling money?

The interest payment on those loans did not look funny.


They’ll collaborate with well-funded international friends,

To ensure that humanity doesn’t cause our planet’s end.


We kicked off this morning by starting a conversation,

About how to welcome underrepresented people into our organization.


An inspirational film highlighting different points of view,

Let’s educate ourselves to become allies so they feel welcome too.


These changes won’t happen on a short timescale,

Ongoing conversations are vital to ensure we don’t fail.


Then onto the AGU website demonstration,

Can channels help connect us across the organization.


Will algorithms help us find sessions at future meetings,

And to new colleagues via AGU connect, we extend a greeting.


So what are we left with, the biggest challenges to solve,

What hard conversations must we have to help AGU evolve?


What do we do when the science is good, great, fine,

But the people doing the science with our values don’t align.


How will excellent science be awarded and recognized,

Giving credit to good researchers, teachers, and allies.


And if we’re committed to diversity, we have to step up and do it,

All white male panels are just not going to cut it.


Let’s work toward carbon neutral meetings here today,

Creating a low carbon council meeting where nothing is thrown away.


I know change is hard and there will be growing pain,

But think not about what we’ll loose, but of all that we’ll gain.


Now the meeting comes to a close, the last for CEO Chris,

After a decade at AGU she’s left us with all of this.


So as we go our separate ways we must try not to mope,

But do please remember to wash your hands with soap.

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