Network building in pandemic times

Due to the current pandemic many workshops and conferences have been cancelled or replaced by online versions.

While online conferences have some benefits, so far they do not replace the social interactions that happen alongside conferences and that are so important to build a network of “science friends”, as Sune Lehmann explained very well in a blog post.

This is especially problematic for PhDs and early career postdocs. Together with other members of the network science and complex systems communities, I try to find solutions to help young researchers mitigate this issue.

We unfortunately had to cancel the 2021 edition of the Winter Workshop on Complex Systems which is targeted at early career researchers and aims at fostering new collaborations. But, together with the other members of the steering committee and with the organising committee, we decided to hold a 3 days online workshop for alumni of the WWCS in February 2021, in order to help keeping existing friendships alive and to work on on-going projects.

I also joined Sune Lehmann, Renaud Lambiotte, Manilo De Domenico, Laura Alessandretti, Oriol Artime and Ricardo Gallotti, in order to think about a way to help young researchers of the network science community to meet each others and exchange with more senior researchers in an online way outside of conferences. We plan to organise something starting early 2021. Stay tuned for more information.