Benefits of online and hybrid conferences for public health, climate impact and inclusivity

Written by Sarah Allard, PhD and Jack Gilbert, PhD

During the past 4 months, in-person meetings and conferences have been postponed, canceled, or shifted to a virtual format. This deviation from the standard conference style has required rapid adaptation and has led to some hiccups, but importantly, some very real benefits. Attending conferences now comes with reduced expense, no time lost to traveling to and from a distant location, a lower toll on the environment, and greater inclusivity. Less carbon is emitted during transport of attendees. Plastic water bottles and single-use food and serving items are not dispensed and disposed of at an alarming rate. There’s no chance of...

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