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President Elect Column-#ica20 Virtual Conference Experience

Posted By Claes de Vreese (U of Amsterdam), Monday, May 4, 2020

Dear ICA members and #ica20 participants. Soon we embark on our first virtual ICA conference. It will be an experiment. Some things will work, some will not. Some will be able to participate full blown in the online space, others will not. Some will find it rewarding, some will find it disappointing.  Some will see more things from different divisions than normally, others might only see a few highlights from their ‘home division’.


No matter how ‘your’ virtual #ica20 experience goes, here is what I hope for (as conference planner):


  • Be open-minded, take the conference as a learning experience, as a presenter, discussant, participant, question asker. It is new for all of us.

  • Be constructive, we want #ica20 to be a safe and supportive environment for sharing ideas and moving our research forward. Yes, we should be critical (we are scholars!) but also constructive and mindful of how comments online can come across harder than face to face.

  • Be kind, we are in this together. Our participants will not only be in different physical locations but also in different places, mentally.  

  • Be patient, we are working asynchronously and sometimes an answer might be delayed.

  • Be curious, the online version of our conference will actually allow us to ‘check out’ research and presentations in divisions and sub-fields that we normally cannot go to or where sessions are double-booked. Yes, you can actually #BingeICA.


Judging from the past months, I believe there is a lot of support and community feeling in the ICA membership. Let’s galvanize this to make #ica20 the best possible experience under hard and unique circumstances. In doing so, let me make a plea for a special group: our grad students and early career researchers. Many of them are still developing ideas, dissertations, grant proposals, and application packages. Let’s be particularly generous with feedback for this group as they miss out the possibility to meet, greet, and have their ideas discussed.


I look forward to seeing many of you online soon.






Tags:  May 2020 

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