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The 'Netflix' of Scientific Conferences


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Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology logo

It was clear by June that the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) could not take place in person. Not holding it wasn't an option. "It's an annual time of scientific re-invigoration," says SICB President Elizabeth Brainerd. "It's when I and especially my students get so excited about our field and our work and just get fired up for the next calendar year of doing science."

Brainerd and a group of determined scientists set out to find a way to save the meeting. They quickly rejected the idea of live-streaming the normal conference.

Their solution was to create "the Netflix of conferences," says Jake Socha, a Virginia Tech professor and member of the SICB Executive Committee. The meeting will take place across two months rather than the typical five days, and almost all the content — talks, poster sessions, symposia, and more — will be available on demand for the entire time.

SICB leadership hopes that the new format will make SICB more accessible to scientists from around the world and to those who cannot typically afford attending a weeklong event.

From Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
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