EDBT/ICDT climate change material
git clone https://a3nm.net/git/edbticdt-climate/
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commit 30f1d2777aee2a1632862cee9437733404746447
parent d6ae6a9b225f219810130292afe009245d8e0788
Author: Antoine Amarilli <a3nm@a3nm.net>
Date:   Mon, 29 Mar 2021 20:53:56 +0200

+2021 summary

2021_summary.md | 83+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
1 file changed, 83 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)

diff --git a/2021_summary.md b/2021_summary.md @@ -0,0 +1,83 @@ +title: Climate change at EDBT/ICDT 2021 + +The [2021 edition of EDBT/ICDT](https://edbticdt2021.cs.ucy.ac.cy/) took place +online, and featured a session on climate change, the second one taking place at +that conference. I chaired this session, and we had the pleasure of having +[Benjamin Pierce](https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/) ([University of +Pennsylvania](https://www.upenn.edu/) and [Clowdr +CIC](https://clowdr.org/about/)) as an outside guest. + +The session gathered up to 40 participants. It featured a +[presentation](https://a3nm.net/work/talks/icdt2021/amarilli2021climate_slides.pdf) +that summarized the issue of climate change and the previous climate change +session, as well as the +[report](https://tcs4f.org/climate-crisis-and-edbticdt) written as a conclusion +of that session. Then, we had a discussion featuring members of the community +and Benjamin Pierce. Several topics came up during the discussion: + +- The **[TCS4F manifesto](https://tcs4f.org/)**, and whether EDBT/ICDT ought to + sign it +- The question of **timezones** when organizing online conferences. There are no + straightforward solutions to this problem, but the switch to online + conferences encourages experimentation with the format, e.g., having very + short days or even a weekly meeting instead of contiguous full days. +- The impact of online conferences on **networking for early-career + researchers**. There are no easy answers here, but online conferences also + make it possible for more people to attend, including people that would not + have otherwise had the funding or the opportunity to travel. There is a + [post on the SIGPLAN + blog](https://blog.sigplan.org/2021/03/25/conferences-after-covid-an-early-career-perspective/) + about that topic. +- The **right format to adopt** for conferences in the future, including the + options of merging conferences, splitting them up geographically, + thematically, etc. About this, there + is again a [relevant post on the SIGPLAN blog](https://blog.sigplan.org/2021/03/16/sigplan-and-climate-change-a-look-back-and-a-look-forward/) +- The (mostly one-time) **cost** of adjusting to a new model +- The **impact on climate change** that our community can have, in addition to + flying less (when it becomes possible again). About this, Benjamin Pierce + pointed out the [paper](https://arxiv.org/abs/1906.05433) outlining how + machine learning research can help address climate change issue. +- The **need for statistics** to understand how people engage with online + conferences, including how many participants actually attended sessions etc. +- (In follow-up discussion:) the question of **estimating the carbon footprint + of trips avoided** thanks to the switch to an online conference. +- The challenges in **giving a social aspect** to online conferences, which are + the topic of ongoing research, and are being addressed by Benjamin Pierce's + [Clowdr](https://clowdr.org/) platform. +- The **format of hybrid conferences**, and the fact (pointed out by Benjamin + Pierce) that once conferences stop being fully online by necessity then they + will have to be hybrid by necessity, for several months if not years. +- The switch at SIGPLAN to the + **[PACM](https://www.acm.org/publications/pacm/introducing-pacm) series** for + proceedings, to decouple the conference publication (similar to a journal + publication) from the fact of going to the conference itself. This is used + by almost all SIGPLAN conferences. + +The session concluded with a poll to gauge the opinion of the people present. At +that stage of the session, there were only 16-21 people voting, so this is only +informative. We asked: + +- **Do you agree that EDBT/ICDT should adapt its practices (post-COVID) to + mitigate climate change?** + - 15 answered yes, 4 were unsure, no one answered no +- **Do you believe that EDBT/ICDT should commit to the IPCC goals of reducing our + emissions by at least 50% before 2030 (relative to pre-2020 levels)?** + - 10 answered yes, 6 were unsure, 1 answered no +- **Should EDBT/ICDT authors be guaranteed that they do not have to physically + travel to the conference (if they cannot or do not want to)?** + - 11 answered yes, 3 were unsure, 2 answered no +- **Would you personally be ready, in future years, to only physically travel to + EDBT/ICDT every other year (and reduce your emissions by 50%)?** + - 12 answered yes, 7 were unsure, 2 answered no +- **What is your preferred model for EDBT/ICDT in the (post-COVID) future?** + - 15 preferred an on-site conference every year but with high-quality + remote participation + - 3 preferred an online conference every year, but with one or many attractive "hubs" + - 2 preferred to alternate between on-site and online + - no one wanted to return to business as usual, or to move to "something + else" + +Let's continue this discussion about the future of the conference model, in the +hope that going forward we can adjust to a sustainable model that serves the +goals of our community! +