Advantages and Disadvantages of Holding an Online Meeting

Advantages of holding an online meeting

  • VSS’s primary mission is to facilitate scientific exchange in vision science. Under the present circumstances the Board sees an online meeting as the best option to do this for 2020. Presentations are also a key part of professional development for students and postdocs, who make up a substantial portion of the VSS community.
  • An online meeting would provide an important opportunity for the VSS community to maintain connections with each other and the society in these difficult times.
  • Running an online meeting would provide us with experience with the underlying technology, which may be useful in the future.

Disadvantages of holding an online meeting

  • Many VSS members have not had access to their laboratories for some time and are dealing with major disruptions to their personal and professional lives.  Preparing for and or participating in an online meeting may not be the right priority for them. Given all of the uncertainties, holding an online meeting may add additional pressure for those already facing significant challenges.
  • Those who end up having minimal access to their laboratories prior to the deadline for 2021 abstracts may not be able to prepare enough new material to submit an abstract in 2021, if they present their 2020 abstract in an online meeting.
  • Holding a online meeting with poor “attendance” may have the undesirable side effect of reducing our sense of community cohesion, rather than of increasing it.