Reimagining scientific conferences during the pandemic and beyond

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Science Advances  16 Sep 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 38, eabe5815
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe5815
Thale Jarvis

Shannon Weiman

Deborah Johnson

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed many challenges for the scientific community, and among them is how to drive science and medicine forward while sheltering at home. Historically, scientific conferences have been fertile grounds for innovation and inspiration that spur research breakthroughs. Indeed, over the course of Keystone Symposia’s nearly 50-year history, our conferences have launched numerous seminal ideas, collaborations, and transformative advances, with impacts on diverse fields from basic biology to medicine.

The pandemic brought an abrupt halt to in-person events, posing a major obstacle for scientific exchange and threatening to stall research progress. Yet, the crisis itself highlights the urgent need for sharing scientific insights to overcome the many diseases that threaten humanity. Therefore, we must rise to the current challenge and utilize new virtual interfaces to stimulate the next wave of scientific innovations. We cannot afford to delay the exchange of scientific information, waiting for this pandemic to pass.

In this spirit, Keystone Symposia has reimagined the scientific conference, leveraging emerging digital media technologies to connect scientists in new ways with our eSymposia series. Through this innovative platform, we will continue to catalyze discovery and accelerate breakthroughs. Despite inherent limitations to virtual interfaces, valuable …

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