The point of CosmoConβ 2024

One of the reasons Cosmology from Home works so well is that most of its features were tested in a small experimental workshop in early 2020 (“CosmoConβ“). We would like to repeat this in 2024 with another CosmoConβ to test out some new ideas.

Logistics: What and when

CosmoConβ 2024 will run over four days in (approximately) early April and will likely have one 2-3 hour session per day, starting at (approximately) 17:30 UTC. The exact dates and scheduling will be decided among those who express an interest in participating.

Apart from the new experiments, the format of CosmoConβ 2024 will be essentially the same as Cosmology from Home’s format.

Should you sign up?

You should sign up if any of the following are true:

  • you love Cosmology from Home and want to make it even better;
  • you want to help improve the average quality of technical research talks;
  • you want to help improve the long-term impact of online conferences;
  • you just want to experience a quieter, more community-vibed version of a Cosmology from Home-type conference.

Here is the registration form.

CosmoConβ 2024 will only run if we have sufficient interest, so if you do want to participate, please sign up ASAP. You don’t need to want to give a talk in order to be a valuable participant in the experiment.

The experiments for CosmoConβ 2024 

The two parts of the conference we want to experiment with this year are: the quality of the pre-recorded talks, and the long-term value of the formal discussion sessions.

Exactly what these experiments become will be partially participant led. Before the conference begins we will arrange a series of meetings open to all participants. In these meetings the organizers and participants will collaboratively decide on the form of the experiments.

As a starting point, here are our ideas:

Improving the quality of the average Cosmology from Home talk by
  • testing how helpful and easy it is to have someone present with a speaker while they are recording (to make it feel more natural);
  • testing how helpful and easy it is to offer assistance with editing talk recordings (to make the final video more polished and better than the default offered by e.g. Zoom);
  • testing how helpful and easy it is to produce talk “story templates” and talk “slide templates” for participants to follow. And testing how helpful and easy it is to follow such templates.
Improving the long term value of Cosmology from Home discussion sessions by
  • producing short, searchable, text summaries of what was covered in each discussion;
  • going through each discussion recording and isolating the content and timestamps for certain “points of interest”, e.g.
    • unresolved disagreements,
    • resolved disagreements,
    • possible research projects,
    • key roadblocks to progress,
    • useful directions to pursue,
    • expected timelines.

The idea is that someone could then search for e.g. “parity violation” and “unresolved disagreements” to see what parts of parity violation research are unresolved. The overall hope would be that these summaries could provide permanently available tent peg outlines of what is interesting in each subfield of cosmology.

If you have other ideas you think will work, or you find these starting points exciting to think about and build upon, then do not hesitate to sign up!

For the event to be successful enough to be a genuine test of these features we will need at least 20 submitted talks and 30 registered participants.

Conference fee

Cosmology from Home receives no institutional support. Therefore, to cover expenses, there will be an attendance fee of 100 Euro. If you are keen to participate, but can only pay a smaller fee, let us know when you register. If you cannot pay any fee and want to attend, please still sign up; if we receive enough funds to run, we hope to be able to waive the fee for you. 

Whatever your situation, you can let us know in the registration form.