Thursday, 25 February 2021

Spring conferences in Edinburgh and Michigan, but really from home

 This year's IoP Nuclear Physics conference is going ahead, hosted by the group (Edinburgh) who were due to host it last year before it was cancelled.  I was all set up with accommodation booked for the conference last year, which I managed to cancel.  This year, I am also all set up with accommodation, since it is my home from where I will attend the conference remotely. 

The deadline for abstracts is tomorrow (see conference website) 26th Feb, and I will be submitting an updated version of the one I used for the IoP Twitter Poster Conference which ran last July.  Here's a plot of the calculations - octupole states

One of the upsides, or downsides, of remote attendance to conferences is that I can also attend another conference at the same time:  This one is called the Sixth International Conference for Young Quantum Information Scientists and is being held at Michigan State University in the USA.  This is related to the part of my research on quantum algorithms for nuclear physics.  

In case anyone was wondering, this note from the conference, particularly the bit in brackets, is relevant to me: "Registration is free and open to everyone (you do not need to be a young researcher to register). "

Thursday, 11 February 2021



Given the current Coronavirus pandemic situation, most scientific conferences have been switched to online only (like the annual nuclear physics IoP conference that I hope to attend around Easter),  rescheduled, or both (like Nuclear Photonics "2020").

I just received an email from the organisers of EXON-2021, a major international conference that is held in Russia.  They are going ahead with a face-to-face conference in St Petersburg in July.  They explicitly state "online participation is not possible. All safety measures against COVID-19 will be strictly followed".  I suppose that doesn't include the safety measure of not organising face-to-face conferences. 

I certainly don't see myself attending.  It may well not even be legal for me to travel then, and even when travelling is again legal, I'm not sure how long it will take for my University to authorise work trips to conference.  I suppose it will depend on the advice available.  I expect EXON-2021 will have a limited range of countries from which attendees will come.   It won't be the first EXON conference that I'll be a little bit wistful about missing.  A previous one was in the hard-to-visit city of Kaliningrad which would have been pretty exciting to visit, but I didn't go to it...