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European Geosciences Union

vEGU21 Closing words

30 April 2021

Heartfelt thanks to vEGU21 participants from the EGU Programme Committee Chair

As vEGU21 draws to a close, I am filled with several competing feelings. First, gratitude: thank you to all participants, presenters, and conveners for your enthusiasm, your patience, and your creativity in handling the challenges that come with an online meeting, and most of all for sharing your science. I am also grateful for the dedication of the EGU Programme Committee members, our conference partner Copernicus, and the EGU office staff, without whom none of this would have been possible.

My second feeling is humility: whereas the first week of vEGU21 ran very smoothly, the start of the second week was disturbed by technical issues. We managed to quickly launch our contingency plan, but this has meant that not all of the interactive tools we had designed could be used to their full capacity. This has been yet another major learning experience …

There is also a sense of pride. While participation numbers are not yet final, you are now 18,000 participants from 136 countries – a new record for the General Assembly! I am also proud of the 5000 waived registrations for this meeting, for scientists from lower- and middle-income countries as well as for undergraduate and MSc students, demonstrating the inclusiveness of an online meeting.

Finally, there is a sense of anticipation. We hope to organise EGU22 with a significant in-person component in Vienna. At the same time, we’ve tested many tools that will shape future online and hybrid meetings. Your feedback on these is important: please let us know what we should keep, and what we could do better at And remember this meeting is not quite over: the second screening of ‘Picture a Scientist’ runs until Sunday 09:00 CEST; display materials can be accessed and commented upon until May 31; and you can view all Union Symposia, Great Debates, Medal and Award Lectures, and Short Courses until this date.

So, thank you all, and hope to see you in Vienna or online next year!

Peter van der Beek, EGU Programme Committee Chair

vEGU21 closing words from the EGU President

Thank you to all of the participants and contributors to vEGU21 who have ensured that our General Assembly has once again been a productive and stimulating experience for everyone despite some unexpected technical difficulties along the way!

Special thanks must also go to all of those people who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to realise vEGU21, especially the members of Council, EGU Office staff, and the team at Copernicus.
Despite the new and unexpected challenges many of us faced over the last year, the quality of the presentations and sessions during vEGU21 has been outstanding, and a real indication of the commitment and dedication of our members to sharing and communicating their science to the wider Earth, space, and planetary science community.

EGU has been forced to adapt in response to the global pandemic, and our unique virtual vEGU21 conference platform has allowed the EGU community to Gather Online in the absence of a physical meeting. But we should not forget that even prior to COVID-19, EGU was seeking ways to reduce its carbon footprint and make the GA greener – the pandemic has only served to accelerate this process. Going forward, we will continue to evolve our vEGU conference platform to deliver a virtual component for the General Assembly, allowing participation either in person or online.

Thank you for being part of vEGU21. We look forward to seeing you at the EGU General Assembly 2022, and hopefully welcoming you back to Vienna either in person or online!

Helen Glaves, EGU President


Terri Cook
EGU Head of Media, Communications, and Outreach

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