CosmoConβ was a small one-week conference in May 2020 to test the novel format of Cosmology from Home with approximately 30 participants. The structure and employed platforms were the same as described in detail here. Most of the pre-recorded talks are available in this YouTube playlist.
Testimonials from Participants
I had a great time with CosmoConβ! The online platform (Sococo) worked very well, creating a sense of space and patching the talks together into an actual conference. I took part in many interesting, spontaneous discussions, which I didn’t expect to see in an online conference. And the online format allowed me to attend the conference flexibly, when it best suited me. I can see myself attending many more events like this in the future.
Thanks and congratulations to the organizers of the CosmoConβ workshop! This was a really innovative idea and you all pulled it off beautifully. Great talks, great discussion and the technology worked quite well. Bravo!
I greatly enjoyed CosmoConβ and am looking forward to Cosmology from Home 2020. In particular, I found that the pre-recorded talks allowed me to understand and think through the presented points more thoroughly than is possible during a live talk. This generally led to more in-depth discussions than I experienced during other conferences, often extending far beyond the dedicated live discussion sessions. In my opinion, the organisers not only found a format that helps us connect and discuss science during these difficult times, but one that even improves on some aspects of “conventional” conferences.
The combination of the three platforms – Slack for preliminary and extended discussions, Zoom for live discussions, and Sococo for keeping track of the other participants, having an easy way to have spontaneous chats/discussions and the general “conference feeling” – was perfect!
Regular conferences are usually packed with talks so that the amount of attention drops very fast. This problem is solved very elegantly with pre-recorded talks which one can watch over the course of several days, allowing each talk to get the attention it deserves. Naturally, the discussion sessions benefited from the pre-recorded talks tremendously since they could go in much more depth, especially thanks to the discussions going on via Slack. The speaker has more time to think of a proper answer to a lot of different questions increasing the quality of the discussions which are visible for everyone even after the conference is over. For me, this amount of sustainability in many different ways was one of the key benefits of CosmoConβ.
The pre-recorded talks worked great! It allowed me to watch them in smaller chunks more suitable for my attention span than usual conference talk sessions.