POM!

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POM is the Photonics Online Meetup. You might expect me to be interested in that - after all, photonics is my thing. But why would I want to tell you about it? There is a lot of discussion about how academia will need to adapt to reduce our air miles, and of course, large meetings that have been money-spinners for both learned societies and commercial providers are typically based on air travel, hotels, large buildings and other forms of conspicuous consumption as vital components of the model. You can find some links at https://sites.usc.edu/pom/mission/.

POM is different. It's a purely online meeting, emerging from the University of Southern California, with some outstanding speakers and some innovative interactive mechanisms. And, best of all, my colleagues at the University of Bath are hosting a hub (one of eight in the UK). There are hubs across the world, that will form communities for researchers to get together and interact in person, forming local attendee groups. Naturally, there are timing issues - the event is from 19:00-00:00 GMT (Monday 13th January)  - and registration is free (I don't expect you to attend!).

This kind of experimental event is an important step towards re-imagining our conferences. We can all contribute to this alongside the many other activities being undertaken through our Climate Action Framework. I wish POM - and the other similarly innovative events that are emerging - all the best. And I encourage all University of Bath researchers to take advantage of the opportunities to explore these new fora, and to help us find a consensus on how we can continue to best disseminate our research, ensuring that it gets the attention it deserves, but perhaps while showing more care for future generations. Let's find ways to make changes that are for the better.

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