Top Ten Takeaways from AGU’s 2016 Fall Meeting
While I enjoy some holiday time with friends, family, and neighbors, I wanted to share my top 10 takeaways from AGU’s 2016 Fall Meeting. These are listed in no particular order—please share your feedback and your own takeaways with me in the comments section.
- The science – There is nowhere better than AGU’s Fall Meeting to experience the breadth, depth, and relevance of Earth and space science; science that is critical to developing future innovation and addressing societal challenges.
- The skills building – Did you come to learn how to communicate your science, spiff up your resume, learn social media tips or skills from other workshops? Fall Meeting was a prime opportunity for professional development with workshops, events, and other sessions hosted over the course of 5 days.
- The hope that science not rhetoric will prevail – Powerful keynotes given by Governor Jerry Brown and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell discussed speaking up on the value and importance of scientific research, and the value of using that knowledge to address challenges like climate change, both locally and globally. Marcia McNutt, President, National Academy of Sciences, and H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco also shared in their keynotes the value of scientific research being included in the decision-making process. (Watch them On Demand here).
- The generosity – I was blown away by your generosity this year; in checking off to provide travel grant support when you registered, and giving throughout the week and on Thursday’s AGU Giving Day, you collectively donated more than $30,000 to advance AGU’s mission to promote discovery Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity. This amount was nearly double what was raised in 2015. Thank you for supporting AGU’s many programs!
- The honors and awards – Wednesday’s Honors Ceremony and Banquet is always a special event. There is no greater honor than to be recognized by your peers for your scientific achievements. I was so pleased to be able to join Margaret Leinen, AGU President, and Eric Davidson, AGU President-elect, in recognizing all 91 honorees and to personally present a few of the prizes and awards.
- The fun – Whether participating in AGU’s Fun Run, enjoying an AGU brew or coffee with new and old friends, or sharing your science as art on the #SketchYourScience Wall, AGU’s Fall Meeting offered a chance for infusing a bit of fun into your week.
- The buzz – In both traditional and social media the work you presented at AGU’s 2016 Fall Meeting had a great impact on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and news outlets around the world. For example, we saw more engagement and better reach on Twitter, and reached 389% more people this week on Facebook than during last year’s Fall Meeting; likely a result of live-streaming many of our sessions.
- The increased engagement opportunities from Fall Meeting pilots – Our new discussion pods were very popular and well-received. Pods provided attendees, speakers, and smaller groups the option to carry on their conversations and discussions in a more comfortable setting at Fall Meeting.
- The impact of moving from the lab and into the community – The expanding network of the Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX) launched 12 new community projects with the help of approximately 70 scientists at the Project Launch Workshop on Wednesday, 14 December. The workshop took place after a successful TEX reception bringing together featured posters from 30completed or existing projects.
- The opportunity to continue the conversation and showcase, protect, and shape science for the future – Look to continue the conversation and stay engaged through AGU On Demand, sign up for AGU policy alerts, and join AGU’s Sharing Science network.
My best wishes to everyone for a wonderful holiday season.
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One thing I’d like to see at the Fall AGU meeting is a system to count the number of attendees at sessions. I struggled with the mushrooming number of duplicative and/or poorly attended sessions as President of AS Section, notably in the aerosol area, but the problem has not been solved. We volunteer at various events where we scan the badges of attendees and the technology is now cheap and effective as well as wireless. Of course you can’t have people do this, but those who choose not to scan their badges at the door will know they are in some sense not supporting the session. This kind of data is vitally needed to lower the number of sessions and make the meeting less crazy.
I do not understand the logic of allowing–indeed, encouraging–livestreaming of sessions, while not permitting reporters to record or photograph those same sessions. With regard to poster sessions, this rule is widely honored in the breach. Scientists are happy to discuss their work with reporters, and if they don’t have a handout copy of the poster, they want it to be photographed, and their comments recorded, to assure accuracy in the resulting articles. I understand that in oral sessions, cameras can be disruptive, but they are not necessarily so, and recorders at one’s place serve the same purpose as at posters: assuring accurate quotes. Please remove the prohibition on cameras and recorders at all sessions. Thank you.