• Photo by Nicolas J Leclercq on Unsplash
  • Photo by Nicolas Tissot on Unsplash
  • Photo by NASA on Unsplash
  • Photo by USGS on Unsplash

Survey on researchers’ conference expectations – share your own perspective

Are you a researcher planning to attend scientific conferences? Please consider participating in and distributing the survey linked below on researchers' expectations of conferences.

We researchers regularly attend conferences and consider them important for exchanging scientific knowledge, building professional networks, and advancing our academic careers. There is a small but growing body of literature that examines the factors that motivate researchers to attend conferences and the needs of conference attendees. However, previous research focused mainly on specific conference settings, countries, and scientific disciplines. There is a lack of research examining researchers’ expectations of conferences more broadly. To contribute to closing this research gap, I, Ariane Wenger – doctoral student at ETH Zurich – am conducting a short (10 minutes) online survey as part of my dissertation on changing research exchange practices. The survey is aimed at researchers of all scientific disciplines and career stages who are planning to attend scientific conferences. In particular, I am interested to include opinions and views of researchers from all around the world!

Your participation in this survey will not only enrich this study, but will also help to identify avenues for enhancing current conference practices, benefiting the wider academic community. If you are willing to share your opinion on conferences, please complete the survey here: https://ww3.unipark.de/uc/cexp1/.

Thank you very much for your contribution!

The survey is conducted by Ariane Wenger, a doctoral student at the Transdisciplinarity Lab (TdLab), Department of Environmental Systems Sciences (D-USYS), ETH Zurich, Switzerland. In case of questions or comments, feel free to contact her via e-mail: ariane.wenger@usys.ethz.ch.

Swarm 10th Anniversary and Science Conference: Copenhagen, 8-12 April 2024

On 8–12 April 2024, a special event took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Swarm mission, with a conference dedicated to scientific advances it has driven in studies of Earth’s interior, ocean, atmosphere and space environment. 

The “Swarm 10th Anniversary and Science Conference”, organized by the European Space Agency and hosted by DTU Space in CPH Conference Centre in Copenhagen, brought together a wide community with expertise spanning the entire Earth system from the core, through the mantle and crust, the oceans and atmosphere, all the way out to the edge of the magnetosphere, with an eye to the many new applications beyond the scope of the original mission objectives.

The conference was attended by more than 220 participants, with 70 talks and 106 posters, from many different institutions in Europe, America and Asia.

The results presented during the week showcased ground-breaking scientific contributions made by the Swarm mission, setting out in detail what has been learnt about the Earth and its space environment from the magnetic and electric field variations recorded over the past 10 years. Insights from modelling efforts as well as wide-ranging implications were discussed. Many novel and unexpected applications of Swarm measurements were also presented, and exciting directions for future progress were set out.

The event was also dedicated to the celebration of Swarm’s “birthday”, with inspiring speeches from mission PI’s, scientists, mission managers and people who have been involved in Swarm mission since the very beginning.

These first 10 years of our mission in orbit are a major milestone that we would like to further mark by creating collections of papers on Swarm related topics. For this reason, the following Special issues have been launched to cover the full range of Swarm related science, in which all those interested are kindly invited to submit contributions:

  • Special issue on  Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. The focus of this special issue will be scientific advances in our understanding of internal field sources (including core dynamics, lithospheric magnetization, induction in the solid Earth and oceans).

    All submissions are welcome beginning on 1st May 2024 up until 31st October 2024. Please submit via the PEPI website and choose article type “VSI:Terr. Magnetism & Swarm".

    Please send an email to gbalasis@noa.gr until May 24th, 2024, expressing your interest by indicating a potential title of your intended submission. Submission deadline of the full articles is expected to be at the end of 2024, while the TI in JSWSC is expected to be launched end of May / beginning of June 2024.

Further details about the event can be found at: https://www.swarm-anniversary-and-science.org/.

ESA Swarm constellation. Image credit: ESA/ATG Medialab

Contributed by Enkelejda Qamili, Chris Finlay, Erwan Th├ębault, Alexander Grayver and George Balasis

My Earth, a geosciences activity book

Public outreach is an important component of scientific research, with researchers increasingly expected to engage in such activities, especially with children. Younger children are a particularly engaging audience one can work with. However, creating content for children is challenging, given their shorter attention span compared to adults. Apart from engaging, the content must be age-appropriate to stimulate the children’s curiosity, encourage questioning, and foster a positive attitude toward learning. Studies indicate that the most effective approach to introducing scientific concepts to young children is through play and that their engagement with science, building reasoning abilities and conceptual knowledge begins well before school years. Moreover, targeting science activities toward children is essential given the declining number of students in STEM fields and decreasing science scores in many countries worldwide.

In the hopes of inspiring the younger generation, we created the GeoEdu4Kids, which was funded by the EGU Engagement Grant 2023. We are developing a children’s booklet titled “My Earth”, which features games, puzzles, coloring activities, and more, all inspired by and related to various geoscience topics. The booklet is designed for children aged 3 to 8 years old and covers a wide range of subjects including, geology, mineralogy, volcanology, seismology, geomagnetism, oceanography, hydrology, and atmospheric sciences. Answers to the activities are provided at the end of the booklet. We encourage adults to assist children in understanding the activities and concepts. Our aim is to spark children's curiosity about the Earth and the environment, prompting them to ask questions. A prototype of the booklet was presented at the EGU General Assembly in April 2024 and will also be presented at the Potsdam Science Day. The final version will be available online via the EGU website and their media channels, translated into multiple languages for a global audience.

Stay tuned for more updates!

The authors, Sanja Panovska (right) and Sabrina Sanchez (left), in front of their EGU poster on 'My Earth' in the outreach session.

Images: (1) The cover page of the booklet. (2) Example game (clouds).

Sanja Panovska is a researcher at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences Potsdam, Germany. Her primary research focus is reconstructing the long-term evolution of the geomagnetic field based on paleomagnetic data through geological history. Sabrina Sanchez is a former researcher and now author and illustrator particularly interested in science outreach. Her recent work can be seen under the handle @une.sabrina on Instagram and you can contact her by e-mail here.