Maintaining a scientific community while social distancing

Academic Article


  • The “Aging Science Talks: Science for the Community” daily online seminar series was established in reaction to the cancellation of a myriad of regional, national, and international meetings focused on the biology of aging due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The inability to attend scientific meetings has far-reaching implications for our field, as we lose the ability to 1) disseminate both published and non-published data through talks and posters; 2) network and establish new collaborations to produce innovative science in the aging field; and 3) continue the career development of early career researchers (ECRs). Through these virtual seminars, we hope to offset the negative effects of these canceled meetings. We established the program rapidly using a “lean” approach, making use of existing technologies broadly available at academic institutions. Here, we provide an initial description of how this program was developed and implemented. We discuss advantages and limitations of this approach, including “real-time” participation and the creation of an on/off-line community of inquiry (CoI). In the future, we hope to formally evaluate the success of this program in building engagement, creating a community, and enhancing the development of ECRs, and to capture metrics associated with the continued progress of science. Our approach to building a CoI may be applied across multiple scientific disciplines during this time of uncertainty, and may offer a valuable example of how to continue to advance science during pandemics or similar events.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lamming DW; Carter CS
  • Start Page

  • 55
  • End Page

  • 59
  • Volume

  • 4