It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the website of the 14th Göttingen Virtual Meeting 2021 of the German Neuroscience Society. This is the first meeting that we are conducting virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Göttingen Neuroscience Meetings are organized since 1973. Giving up this tradition wasn’t an option for the GNS governing council, even though we are aware of how difficult it is to replace a physical meeting with a virtual format.
Part of what makes a physical meeting attractive – life performance of internationally renowned plenary speakers, vivid debates in symposia or face-to face discussions in front of poster boards, meeting fellow scientists during a chat at the buffet, the feeling of being part of an international community – cannot be reflected in a virtual meeting. What a virtual meeting, however, can offer and achieve is the presentation of top-notch science, and this is what we will focus on. With this aim in mind and after thoughtful analysis of the pros and cons of virtual meetings we developed a concept which doesn’t simply mirror a physical meeting but which is responsive to what we think scientists do expect and will profit from most.
We were pondering the following questions:
How can we ameliorate the schedule of a virtual meeting? No one wants to sit in front of a screen for three or more entire days in a row to follow plenary lectures, symposia talks and to view posters.
All presentations of the Göttingen virtual meeting will be available online already two weeks before the official start of the meeting, which will be directly followed by a dedicated, so-called "discussion period". Thus, there will be no strict schedule for presentations but essentially all talks are pre-recorded and can be accessed at any time and also after the meeting.
How can we better monitor the discussion part? Discussions in chat or zoom rooms hardly develop naturally in a virtual meeting, the feedback is unpredictable and often rather poor.
Questions and discussion related to specific lectures and talks will be organized in predefined video conferencing slots from March 22 to 30, 2021 in the late afternoon to be compatible with every days lab work. Interested participants can subscribe to these slots.
How can we raise more awareness for poster presentations? Poster presenters at former virtual conferences often complain that they had no or very poor feedback to their posters only.
We will have no dedicated time slots for poster sessions. Posters will instead be accessible during the entire period. Presenters will prepare an elevator pitch of their poster, and poster discussion will be arranged individually and timely flexible with the author.
We are aware that we test the waters with this new format and we wish to point out the critical role that you all will play in the realization of this endeavor. We cordially invite you to register and submit an abstract until December 14, 2020.
Stipends covering the registration fee will be available for the participation in the meeting. Notably, the registration fee was considerably reduced, starting now from 45 € for student members.
We are looking forward to a successful virtual meeting and to presentations on cutting-edge neuroscience also in 2021, and to hopefully meeting you in person in 2023 again.
Prof. Dr. med. Albert C. Ludolph
|Prof. Dr. Christine Rose