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What you need to know about our conference: Our goal is to have a nearly carbon-neutral conference. Even a relatively small academic conference can generate the equivalent of 20,000 pounds or more of CO2 (chiefly from travel). To put that number in perspective, this is the total annual carbon footprint of ten people living in India, thirty-three in Kenya. We believe that a conference that takes up the issue of climate change while simultaneously contributing to the problem to such a degree is simply unconscionable.
Consequently, this conference will largely occur online. During the conference, which will take place over three weeks, talks will be available for viewing on the conference website. Q&A will also take place online during this period, as participants and registered attendees will be able to pose questions to speakers via online comments and speakers will be able to reply in the same way. Both the talks and Q&A sessions will remain up on the website as a permanent archive of the event.
While we realize that this approach will not replicate the face-to-face interaction of a conventional conference talk and Q&A, we hope that it will nonetheless promote lively discussion, as well as help build a community of scholars with intersecting research interests. An advantage to this approach is that individuals who would not otherwise be able to become involved in the conference (owing to distance, financial limitations, and so forth) will be able to fully take part. There will be no registration fee for the conference. Although this online conference will have its own carbon footprint, as data centers and web activity also require energy, we expect that it will only be a small fraction of that of a conventional conference, likely just 1-3%.