Broadening Participation in Scientific Conferences during the Era of Social Distancing

Michael R. Fulcher, Marian L. Bolton, Michael D. Millican, Matthew J. Michalska-Smith, José Pablo Dundore-Arias, Jo Handelsman, Jonathan L. Klassen, Kathryn C. Milligan-Myhre, Ashley Shade, Benjamin E. Wolfe, Linda L. Kinkel

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Virtual conferences can offer significant benefits but require considerable planning and creativity to be successful. Here we describe the successes and failures of a hybrid in-person/virtual conference model. The COVID-19 epidemic presents the scientific community with an opportunity to pioneer novel models that effectively engage virtual participants to advance conference goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)949-952
Number of pages4
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the attendees, remote and in-person, who made the Deciphering the Microbiome workshop successful through their participation. The supporting graphic in this article was created by Dawn Mathers Design. The authors would also like to thank Drs Mamta Rawat and Joanna Shisler. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (Grant MCB 1714276 ). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


  • COVID-19
  • expanding participation
  • meeting organization
  • virtual conference

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