New Poll Reveals Pros and Cons of Virtual and In-person Meetings
There exist compelling reasons for a hybrid balance
In a recent poll of scientists who have spent the last year attending mostly virtual events, a significant majority—74 percent—said they believe scientific meetings should continue to be virtual, or include virtual pieces, even after the pandemic is over. Respondents to the poll, conducted by the journal Nature, said the convenience of attending virtual meetings from anywhere in the world was a big plus, but 69 percent conceded that the lack of in-person networking was a downside.
In other words, it’s complicated.
At the beginning of March last year, the American Physical Society became one of the first organizations to cancel a large-scale scientific meeting because of the pandemic. This year, the 2021 APS March Meeting will happen, as will many other organizations’ events, virtually. APS currently has just under 12,000 participants registered, which is only slightly below its highest rate of a little more than 12,000 at its 2019 conference in Boston.
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