Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions
Disciplinary sessions AS–GM
Disciplinary sessions GMPV–TS

Session programme


US – Union Symposia

Programme group chairs: Peter van der Beek, Chloe Hill


The EDI Committee have proposed this Union Symposium to reflect on themes arising from the screening of The Leadership documentary NET1.

In particular, we are interested in exposing and exploring the power of networks, how they are created and how networks can help researchers progress in their professional careers. This US will encourage you to reflect at a personal level on your own network, assess whether it is optimised for success, and provide clues on how you can better construct and interact in your network to optimize opportunities and garner valuable support during your often challenging career path.

Secondly, this US will provide an opportunity to raise awareness and stimulate a conversation about how we as a geoscience community augment and reinforce networks that will inspire and retain underrepresented members of the geoscience community thus bringing their voices into the 'rooms' where decisions on science and policy amongst other societal issues are currently taking place.

Public information:

Moderator Lisa Wingate 15:10-15:15
Introduction to the topic of the US.

Our first speaker will be Dr Madeleine Hann 15:15-15:25 Physically present in Vienna

Dr Madeleine Hann will talk about her motivation and experience for joining the Homeward Bound network and travelling to Antarctica with a shipful of future leaders.

Our second speaker will be Daria Ludtke 15:25-15:35 Physically present in Vienna

Dr Daria Ludtke is the Western European ambassador for the network
Women+ In Geospatial https://womeningeospatial.org/.  Daria will introduce this bottom-up network, its history, how it works and how it has evolved and adapted to the needs of the growing geospatial community.

Our third speaker  Prof Christine Cross 15:35-15:45 Virtually present over Zoom 

Prof Christine Cross will intorduce us to a recently EU-funded COST Action called VOICES https://gendervoices.eu/ that aims to explore and develop tools to assist early career researchers develop leadership, mentoring and networking skills.

Christine will provide information on this COST Action and provide insights on how to use the
COST Action programme to develop tools, networks and promote a shift in the diversity of
leaders stepping into positions that can impact society.


Our final speaker will be Laura Lots from the SNSF 15:45-15:55 Virtually present over Zoom

Laura Lots will present the AcademiaNet https://www.academia-net.org/ database and network. With this presentation we aim to raise awareness of this initiative in the geoscience community to increase the number of institutes enrolling diverse STEM and geoscience researchers to appear in this database, in addition to advertising the utility of this database for finding diverse voices to participate on conference symposia, project proposals, funding panels to represent geosciences within the EU. It can also help the EGU society give recognition to the
work and achievements of our diverse community members. No more excuses!


Round table discussion 15:55-16:40

Questions from the physical and online audience will also be selected to implement the
round table discussion.

For more information on how to watch The Leadership documentary please access NET1
https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU22/session/44558 in the programme for further details on the physical and online streaming during EGU22.

For further discussion on the topics raised during this US and an opportunity to meet with the
speakers Lisa Wingate, Madeleine Hann & Daria Ludtke and discuss diverse geoscience
networks and leadership initiatives please visit the EDI Booth after the round table or on Friday 27th May 10:00-12:00.

Convener: Lisa Wingate | Co-conveners: Giuliana Panieri, Elenora van RijsingenECSECS, daniel parsons
Thu, 26 May, 15:10–16:40 (CEST)
Room E1

The biodiversity of the planet is inextricably tied to the future of humanity. Our impacts on, and ability to find solutions to, the alarmingly accelerating loss of species may not only define their survival but our own future too.

Biodiversity encompasses the variety of living organisms on Earth, including their habitats and their interactions. It supports our food system, increases community resilience, and underpins global GDP. Biodiversity is both vital for and impacted by agriculture, freshwater ecosystems, biogeosystems, soil health, climate change, natural hazards, and pollution. Despite the undeniable importance of biodiversity on environmental and societal wellbeing, ecosystems are being damaged and disappearing at an ever-faster rate.

Preserving and restoring biodiversity are incredibly complex tasks that will require both scientific expertise and intersectoral collaboration. This Union Symposium will highlight some of the key biodiversity challenges that humanity is currently facing and how they can potentially be overcome. It will also outline some of the recent European biodiversity targets and legislation, what’s coming next, how geoscience is being used to find solutions, and where more research is needed.

The Symposia panel will include geoscientists working in areas related to the biodiversity and policymakers who are currently working on European biodiversity initiatives and who are concerned by integrative pathways to be explored with water, climate, soil, oceans, natural hazards, biogeosystems, and Earth observations. The session will include presentations from these speakers as well as a moderated discussion on how geoscientists can best support the Europe’s biodiversity targets and a Q&A with the audience. While this session will have a European focus, it will also emphasise the importance of biodiversity as a global issue.

Public information:


  • Philippe Tulkens, Head of Unit, European Commission, DG Research & Innovation, Healthy Planet Directorate – Climate and Planetary Boundaries Unit (RTD.B3).
  • Gregoire Dubois: Manager of the European Commission Knowledge Centre for Biodiversity
  • Marie Vandewalle: Head of the Eklipse Management Body and researcher in the Science-Policy expert group at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ in Germany.
  • Bikem Ekberzade: PhD candidate for Marine and Climate Sciences at Eurasian Institute for Earth System Sciences at Istanbul Technical University in Turkey. Author, radio producer, and photojournalist.

Session Moderator: Noel Baker, Project manager at the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy and EGU Science for Policy Working Group member

Convener: Chloe Hill | Co-conveners: Claudio Zaccone, Maria-Helena Ramos, Noel Baker
Mon, 23 May, 13:20–14:50 (CEST)
Room E1

The format of scientific conferences has come under significant scrutiny and has been the subject of extensive debate in recent years; these debates centered on the carbon footprint and sustainability of such conferences, but also on questions of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion as well as accessibility at these conferences. Within the geosciences, the debate has been particularly strong given that global change and sustainability are part of our direct research subjects and the community has realized the amount of work still needed to attain the goal of truly inclusive and diverse meeting participation and a fair and equal exposure at such conferences.

The Covid-19 pandemic has strongly expedited the evolution of scientific conferences, as numerous learned societies were forced to organize virtual meetings. EGU has thus needed to very rapidly change the format of the 2020 General Assembly from a traditional in-person meeting to “Sharing Geoscience online”, and organize vEGU21 as a fully virtual meeting, while EGU22 is the first hybrid meeting in the history of the Union.

It is now a good time to take stock and look forward: what have we learned from our experiences with virtual and hybrid meetings; how can we take these experiences to design more sustainable global meetings in future; how can we make such hybrid meetings more accessible and inclusive while fostering diversity of presenters and ideas? This Union Symposium will bring together meeting organizers and members of the community who have presented thoughts about future meetings to reflect on the required and desired evolution of scientific conferences, with a focus on the geosciences.

Public information:

This Union Symposia session is composed of two timeblocks; presentations from speakers in the first, followed by Q&A and discussion in the second.


  • Guy Brasseur, AGU Fall Meeting  Program Committee Chair & Senior Scientist and Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg
  • Stephanie Zihms, Lecturer in Researcher Development at the University of the West of Scotland
  • Milan Klöwer, Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Climate Physics at the University of Oxford
  • Martin Rasmussen, Managing Director of Copernicus Meetings

Further panellists:

  • Claudia Alves de Jesus-Rydin, Senior Research Programme Officer at 
    European Research Council Executive Agency and former Chair of the EGU 
    EDI Group
Convener: Evguenia Roussak | Co-conveners: Peter van der Beek, Philippe Courtial
Tue, 24 May, 13:20–16:40 (CEST)
Room E1

“Neo-colonial science” or “parachute science” is a practice where international scientists, usually from higher-income countries, conduct fieldwork or collect data and samples in another country, usually of lower income, and then elaborate the data and publish scientific results without involving native researchers and/or communities.
This Union Symposium will provide participants with an introduction to the neo-colonial science, highlighting pertinent examples on how this practice has created a dependency on expertise with consequent lack of knowledge building and infrastructures development in countries that have been the base of important discoveries. Neo-colonial science is particularly evident across many geosciences’ disciplines, where low income countries have been used as natural laboratories for fieldwork of world-class researchers.

Scientific neocolonialism is unfair to the local scientific communities, who may contribute to the work without being recognized nor treated as equal partners. In addition, the scientific interpretations resulting from such approaches may suffer from the lack of local knowledge – which could prevent wrong hypothesis or extrapolations.

The presentations and discussions of this Union Symposium aim to shed light on various examples of scientific neo-colonialism, how EGU members can have significant impact, and how inclusion in global research can lead to better science.

Convener: Giuliana Panieri | Co-conveners: Barbara Ervens, Claudia Jesus-Rydin, Anouk Beniest, Robyn Pickering
Tue, 24 May, 17:00–18:30 (CEST)
Room E1