Researchers moved online

An article from ArcticFinland focusses on how Arctic research has moved online in response to COVID-19.

Group pictures from field trips are now distant memories only and research collaboration is entirely dependent on remote connections. The worst affected are all the carefully prepared scientific conferences and seminars, which had to be cancelled.

The corona virus crisis does not affect the work of many researchers much, says Timo Koivurova, director of the Arctic Center at the University of Lapland. Research collaboration has always been carried out online.

“We had to cancel the Migration in the North conference, which was due to take place at the end of May. It was a bitter disappointment for me that Finland could not organize the prestigious Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, which would have been extremely important for making Antarctic research known and promoting it in Finland, ”says Timo Koivurova.

Research collaboration continues in novel ways. The European Polar Board (EPB) will hold a teleconference in April. Monthly meetings of the Board of the U.S. Arctic Research Consortium (ARCUS) are held using online tools, as always.

“Meetings at the University of Lapland and the Arctic Center continue normally, albeit online. In fact, we are now participating in large numbers as no one is travelling. At the Arctic Centre, we want the units hold regular meetings during such a crisis. ”

However, research collaboration cannot be based on remote connections alone. Scientists also need to meet each other. Vice-President Research of the Arctic University Network UArctic Arja Rautio, based at the University of Oulu, hopes that young researchers will also be able to meet senior researchers, participate in workshops and summer schools in the future.

“After this crisis, the world is will not be the same, but we need to preserve the elements that build multidisciplinary Arctic research that will be conducted together throughout the northern region. That requires physical meetings, because we cannot create similar connections alone.

 

Read the full article in English here.

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Last updated: 15.6.2020