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EGU news Everything you need to know about the vEGU21 scientific sessions

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European Geosciences Union

Everything you need to know about the vEGU21 scientific sessions

18 February 2021

With the start of vEGU21: Gather Online just two months away, there’s been lots of interest regarding what the meeting’s scientific sessions will look like. Since the conference platform is still under development (check out this sneak peek!), we can’t yet answer all your questions, but we’ve pulled together the information we do have into this handy reference guide.

Get ready to vPICO!

All scientific sessions at vEGU21 will be run in the new virtual PICO (vPICO) format, which is modelled after the popular interactive touchscreen presentations used at in-person EGU General Assemblies. Each 1.5-hour-long vPICO session will feature approximately 20 abstracts and be divided into two parts: an overview and chats.

1) Overview

2-minute talks: An introductory round of live 2-minute talks (each based on a single slide) will be presented in a central video chat moderated by the session conveners. The slide (.png, .jpg, 150 dpi) should summarize the essence of the research in the meeting abstract and must be uploaded at least 24 hours prior to your session’s start.

2) Chats

Breakout text chats: Starting after the 2-minute talks, each presentation will have its own live text chat, where participants can post questions to the abstract authors to stimulate further discussion, just as PICO presenters assemble around touchscreens to continue their conversations in Vienna.
Central video chat: During the breakout text chats, the central video chat will remain open for further group discussion hosted by the conveners. Attendees will be able to simultaneously participate in the central video chat and as many of the live text chats as they wish.

Conveners have the option of including one 10-minute solicited presentation per 1.5-hour session time block.

For a quick summary, please watch our 4-minute How to upload display materials and comment! video.

Specific presenter guidelines are available here.

Key deadlines

31 March – Upload of display materials and commenting begins
23 April at 13:00 CEST – Deadline to upload pre-recorded 2-minute presentations (if you aren’t able to present your research live). EGU encourages authors to incorporate closed captions in their recordings; more guidance will follow regarding how best to do this.
24 hours prior to your session’s start – last opportunity to upload a single slide (.jpg or .png) for your live 2-minute talk

vPICO scheduling

All vPICO sessions will be scheduled during the week of 26–30 April. The daily programme will include four 1.5-hour time blocks separated by 30-minute breaks (1 hour during lunch).

The link for each video chat will become active 15 minutes prior to the session’s scheduled start time (CEST). Because the same video chat channels will be used throughout the day, it will not be possible to extend any session’s central video chat. Instead, live text chats will continue for up to an additional 30 minutes beyond the scheduled end time to accommodate further discussion. For those wishing to continue their discussions, there will be an option to organise pop-up networking sessions. More information about these will be available soon.

vEGU21 schedule

Most Union sessions will be held during the first week of vEGU21, from 19-23 April:

  • The keynote Union Symposia and Great Debates will take place as webinars and will be recorded for on-demand viewing. Questions will be asked through a central chat, and speakers will answer orally.
  • Most Medal Lectures and Short Courses will be held as webinars. A few Short Courses will be pre-recorded for on-demand viewing following their scheduled release time.
  • Townhall events will also take place as webinars. Questions will be asked via the central chat, with speakers answering orally.
  • EGU Division meetings will be organised as Zoom meetings.
  • EGU will continue its tradition of offering the opportunity for participants to apply to organise splinter meetings: public meetings on non-commercial matters. These will be free of charge and listed in the programme with a link to the video chat. Splinter meeting applications are due by 9 April 2021.

More information about pre-scheduled networking sessions will be published in early April.


Peter van der Beek
EGU Programme Committee Chair

Terri Cook
EGU Head of Media, Communications, and Outreach


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