Fostering an accessible and inclusive environment at the EGU General Assembly
The European Geosciences Union is committed to providing a safe, open, accessible, and respectful environment at its annual General Assembly. We strive for both our communications and approach to be non-judgmental, un-biased, and inclusive. In turn, the EGU expects meeting attendees to exhibit professional and respectful conduct at all times. We require that all meeting participants accept and follow both EGU's Code of Conduct and the EGU General Assembly rules of conduct.
At its General Assembly the EGU strives to have diversity among conveners, attendees, organizers, and presenters, including with respect to career stage, gender, geographical origin, and scientific approaches. We encourage conveners and programme committee officers to keep this approach in mind while conducting all EGU activities.
This webpage details actions that the EGU has undertaken to facilitate an accessible and inclusive conference where every individual feels welcome. We encourage all participants to read this page and to help whenever appropriate.
Should you observe violations against these rules, please contact the EGU24 person of trust. You can do this by visiting the EGU Information desk on the Yellow Level, asking a conference assistant for help and/or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Messages to this address are treated confidentially. More advice for what you can do if you are a bystander to harassment or any other form of discrimination can be found in this blog post written by our EDI Working Group members: How to EGU24: help us ensure a safe and inclusive EGU24.
Accessibility at EGU24
In recent years EGU and Copernicus have worked together with our conference venue, the Austria Center Vienna (ACV) to implement several new initiatives to improve accessibility at the General Assembly. These features include:
- Half of the toilets in the ACV will be designated "All Gender" toilets, not just limited to single stall accessible toilets.
- Hand-held and hands-free microphones available to speakers.
- Flexible solutions and seating options available to presenters of all formats (including posters and PICO presentations).
- Step-free access to key spaces within the ACV, and where step-free access is not built in, step-free solutions and additional staff support are available from the EGU Information desk on the Yellow Level (telephone during the conference +43 6786 3199 583).
- Family rooms, quiet rooms and multi-faith prayer rooms available for those who need to step away from the hustle and bustle of the meeting.
In addition, EGU and Copernicus staff are available to provide additional support whenever it is needed. If you have an issue, please contact email@example.com.
As well as changes that we have made in the conference venue, we also encourage all of our attendees to think of the many ways that they can help make their presentations more accessible.
- We encourage presenters to use font sizes that are large enough to be easily read on a laptop screen or from the back of a room in a presentation room. This should also apply to labels on figure axes.
- We encourage presenters to avoid using rainbow scales.
- Additional information: How to EGU24: making your presentation accessible to all!
- At EGU24 we will continue to provide AI-based closed captioning for all presentations, including the Union-wide Great Debates, Union Symposia and Medal and Award Lectures, as well as all Short Courses streamed online and all our hybrid scientific sessions.
- The captions for EGU24 will be provided using Zoom's integrated captioning service, so we ask your patience with the programme as it works to caption people with a wide range of speaking styles.
- For information about what you as the presenter can do to improve your captions, please read How to EGU24: making your presentation accessible to all!
- The EGU strives to use gender-neutral language in all aspects of our communications, from publications to our meetings, and we are grateful as our members work hard to help us achieve this standard.
- We offer pronoun, Pride, and many other sticker choices when you set up your profile, and you can now choose to have your pronouns represented on your EGU24 name badge, just select your correct pronouns from the list during the registration process, and they will be printed directly on your badge!
- The EGU also issues the following guideline for conveners: "EGU strongly encourages conveners to build their teams and organize their sessions considering and promoting under-represented demographics, in particular including: (i) multiple countries and institutes, (ii) different career stages, with particular attention to the participation of early career scientists, (iii) different genders and all other forms of diversity, and (iv) diverse scientific approaches."
- Additional information: Accessibility at EGU: Promoting inclusive language, an incomplete guide – version 2!
We acknowledge how taxing it can be to attend a conference, whether digital, in-person or both, so we hope you will be able to be kind to yourself during the week and, especially for attendees joining us virtually, focus only on attending EGU24. And yes, that also includes taking some time out to explore and go for walks, talk with friends and colleagues, and enjoy our EGU24 Quiet Room – whether you are joining us remotely from your home or workplace, or travelling to Vienna.
Here are a few more tips for making your conference easier, whether participating on-site, virtually or in hybrid format:
- Take regular breaks! This can mean doing something that isn't work related, or even stepping away from your computer altogether or leaving the conference centre to spend time in fresh air.
- Keep a pad and pen nearby to doodle on while you listen – let yourself fidget. Research suggests that letting yourself fidget whilst you listen can actually help you focus and remember more.
- Schedule varied events. Once you have added your key sessions and abstracts into your personal programme, why not consider adding some more varied events? During EGU24, you will be able to add and attend pop-up networking events, Union Symposia, Great Debates, and many Short Courses.
- Protect your time. Especially if you are attending the meeting online we know how difficult it can be to protect your time and not feel the need to keep up with your regular work commitments on top of attending the meeting and all your normal personal commitments. Making a conscious effort to protect your time by setting an email out of office and informing your colleagues of your absence, even if you are attending remotely, can help to prevent burnout.