The European Geophysical Union General Assembly is taking place in Vienna this week (23-28 April 2023). Thousands of scientists from around the world have come together at the Austria Centre to discuss the latest discoveries related to our understanding of how the Earth system functions. This year I choose to travel to EGU by train from Amsterdam. It was not until later that I discovered that #Train2EGU was a “thing” (see photos below). I was not able to stay in Vienna for the whole congress so I am now back in Amsterdam. However, my time at the congress was excellent:
- Listening to a wide range of talks (including sessions on past environmental change in Africa, the role of fire in shaping ecosystems and landscapes, and how we can develop new methods to extract information from sedimentary records),
- Holding in-person scientific meetings with colleagues to try and figure out what the datasets mean on various projects (mainly focused on wiggly lines generated from long lake records), and
- Meeting up with friends and colleagues who I had not seen for many years…
I hope all those still at EGU are having fun. While I see the necessity of scientists to get together in the same physical space to advance our field I also see the tension with the environmental impacts of travel. Getting together at big congresses such as this maybe the most travel efficient way to solve this conundrum? Anyway, I hope at least people think about their travel plans and I for one enjoyed by #Train2EGU experience; all connections met and – apart from 1 hour of very crowded conditions after leaving Frankfurt – a very pleasant experience in which I could easily work / sleep / eat.
My route out: Bussum – Amsterdam – Frankfurt – Vienna. My route back: Vienna – Frankfurt – Utrecht – Hilversum – Bussum.