Thousands of scientists and scientific manufacturers from across the globe have come together online at a Virtual Analytical Summit, as COVID-19 forces the postponement of key events in the science industry calendar.
Run by leading online science publisher SelectScience®, the Virtual Summit offered a crucial forum for the science industry to continue to connect, share knowledge and provide technology solutions to advance science and health at this critical time.
More than 8,300 scientists from 140 countries attended ‘live’ webinar presentations and virtual exhibit booths over 3 days of last week’s event — the first in a series taking place over the coming months.
The event featured talks by eminent scientific speakers, technology workshops, virtual exhibitor booths featuring leading brands, product and application news, as well as live Q&As. With more than 42 presentations, the most popular drew crowds of up to 500 people, far more than most physical shows. The event content reached a further 400,000 people online as word quickly spread on social media.
SelectScience Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Kerry Parker, said: “Our new Virtual Summits are designed to support the industry at this difficult time to ensure communication and collaboration continues to flourish. We’ve been delighted by the response from across the industry, especially as we only had two weeks to announce and launch the summit.”
Speakers at the inaugural Summit included Dr. John Kellie, Fellow, GSK; Prof. Tim Long, Director, Macromolecules Innovation Institute, Virginia Tech; Prof. Oliver Schmitz, Principal Investigator, University of Duisberg-Essen, Dr. Gili Ben-Nissan, Weizmann Institute of Science, Prof. Jane Dyson, The Scripps Research Institute, Dr. Diane Turner, Founder and Director of Anthias Consulting, and Prof. Igor K Lednev, Principal Investigator, University of Albany. All presentations are now available to view on demand.
“This Virtual Summit represents a timely mechanism to collectively partner and envision next-generation technologies at a critical time in history,” said Prof. Long. “It provides a necessary moment to pause from the global chaos and envision the science necessary to help the world.”
Headline themes up for discussion included food security, cannabis testing, materials science, life sciences and pharma, with several presentations placing the spotlight on research into COVID-19.
Prof. Dyson said: “We are very fortunate that the infrastructure is in place for virtual communication. As scientists, as citizens, and as human beings, we can take advantage of these methods to connect with each other, perhaps to learn something new and set us thinking in new and productive directions.”
Exhibitors – including many of the world’s biggest scientific manufacturers – attracted as many as 700 virtual attendees to their booths during the Summit, which attracted scientists working in fields ranging from pharma and food to environmental and materials.
Eric Matthews, Vice President of US Sales and Business Development at exhibitor BMG LABTECH, said: “It’s important to keep communication open through a Summit like this because the work that our customers are doing is critical for advancing not just infectious disease research, but other basic research. What we’re doing affects people at home right now – if we can continue to do our jobs, people are going to be healthier in the future and have more prosperous lives.”
Dr. Turner added: “I think it’s vitally important to continue the flow of knowledge sharing and exchange of ideas during this difficult time for all. This virtual summit is a great way to keep the analytical community connected.”
Forthcoming SelectScience Virtual Summits include: