Preliminary format of the virtual EMS2021

The event will be accessible from anywhere on the planet; the programme will consist of nearly 50 scientific sessions, including the Harry Otten Prize session, strategic and keynote lectures, networking events, including a programme for early career scientists, award ceremonies and award lectures, and many more activities.


The meeting dates for the session programme of the virtual EMS2021 remain as planned: 6 to 10 September 2021. An opening day will be held on Friday 3 September.

Opening day

The opening day on 3 September 2021 will include some strategic and keynote lectures, an award ceremony, ice-breaker events and networking opportunities for early-career scientists.

Structure of the conference days 6–10 September

Conference days will have a recurrent structure throughout the week, and will not be as packed as for an onsite meeting in order to provide ample time (and tools) for interactive meeting & discussion opportunities.

  • Each morning will start with a plenary keynote or strategic lecture, lasting 30 minutes including question & discussions time.
  • Two time blocks per day for live sessions are planned: one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with a one-and-a-half-hour lunch break in between.
  • Interactive rooms for each of the sessions will directly follow each session block for free discussions, enabling participants to chat within spontaneous small groups.
  • More opportunities for networking are planned for breaks and possibly at the end of each day.

Aspects about the envisaged format of the session programme

  • The number of parallel sessions will be essentially the same as for a physical meeting to avoid as much as possible overlap conflicts and allow participants to participate in all the sessions of their interest. The PSC will decide on the final number of parallel sessions once the number of submitted abstracts is known.
  • For each session, solicited state-of-the-art extended presentations are encouraged.
  • Essentially all abstracts submitted will be treated the same, with the length of presentations during the live sessions being shorter than at an on-site meeting to allow accommodating all presentations and to account for the experience that attention span tends to be much shorter online; therefore, more time will be reserved for discussions.
  • Solicited talks will be assigned a longer presentation time.
  • Pre-recording of presentation videos is encouraged, as an opportunity to exploit the potentials of the digital formats; outstanding presentations will be highlighted through a new Inspiring Presentation Award (details will follow).
  • Uploading of presentations as early as possible prior to the conference will be encouraged to stimulate discussions during live session.
  • Most strategic and keynote lectures will be held as webinars with questions passed on through the Q&D chat and speakers will reply orally.
  • Specific events on issues open to debate (e.g. The Future of Science, Citizen Science,..) will be organised in a more interactive format.
  • Side meetings: these may be organised as public side meetings during EMS2021. Should you have an interest in organising a side event please contact the EMS Secretariat at:

Many details about the exact format the meeting will take are still discussed and will be updated here in the coming weeks.

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