* offer not necessarily valid in Europe, the Middle East and Africa
What does it mean to schedule amazing keynote talks for a truly global virtual conference? The organizing committee grappled with this at length, and it is a many-faceted accomplishment.
First, with these keynote talks we are able to bring to FORCE2021 three leading voices with complementary and inspiring points of view on our theme, Joining Forces to Advance the Future of Research Communications.
- Our first keynote is by Dr. Leslie Chan, Director of the Knowledge Production Lab at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. His keynote message is “Beyond diversity and inclusion: Challenging structural racism and systemic biases in academic knowledge production.”
- Our second keynote is by Dr. Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO. Her keynote “How open science can help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?” positions FORCE2021 as the first international event to discuss the impact of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science since its recent ratification.
- Our third keynote, by behavioral biologist Dr. Anindita Bhadra, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, is “The future of science work: Pandemic impacts on scientific communication & collaboration. I’m not sure how much she will center her own research in this talk, but I still expect it to be doggone good!
Second, though, we had to make decisions around schedules and time zones. Our discussions ranged over topics like differing norms for whether an online conference was a break from our day jobs and for attending conference sessions outside of the regular workday. We are delighted to bring you keynote speakers from three continents, and their locations are also a factor in scheduling.
One result of our discussions was a decision to decenter the Americas relative to the position the US in particular is usually afforded in global events. We are extremely grateful to Dr. Leslie Chan for agreeing to speak at 5AM his local time! I hope at least some attendees who, like me, live in the US Eastern time zone, will be able to join. However, for those farther west, you are granted a rain check for this event as well as for the second keynote, which takes place in the same time slot.
Moving briefly from keynotes to panels, the scheduling challenges are only multiplied as we seek to diversify geographic representation within a panel and its moderators. Yet the ability to feature panelists without regard to location or travel costs is a tremendous advance in research communication and we are thrilled with the opportunities it presents.
Of course, the keynotes and all sessions will be recorded and available on YouTube for your enjoyment worldwide post-conference. You can also use Sched’s time zone feature to plan your engagement throughout the conference.
We hope you will join us December 7-9 at FORCE2021: Joining Forces to Advance the Future of Research Communications for an event centering exchange and open discussion. We are members of all of the communities that make up FORCE11–scholars, librarians, archivists, publishers, research funders, and more, broadly and inclusively defined. If you care about the future of research communications and the technologies that are enabling new possibilities, learn more about the conference and REGISTER.
Jennifer Miller for the FORCE2021 Organizing Committee