The European Association of Science Editors (EASE) is an international community of individuals and associations from diverse backgrounds, linguistic traditions and professional experiences in science communication and editing.

Conference programme 2021

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Our Programme Committee are currently putting the finishing touches to the programme for the 15th EASE General Assembly and Conference to be held virtually on 23-25 June 2021. Check back regularly as more information will be added as it becomes available. All times are in British Summer Time (BST) and are provisional.

EASE General Assembly

Date and time: Wednesday, 23 June 2021 1.30pm (BST)

EASE General Assembly: reports from the President, treasurer and key Council members outlining recent achievements and plans for the coming year, and announcement of the 2021-2023 Council.

All EASE members are welcome and encouraged to attend this meeting, for which there is no fee. Registration details will follow shortly.

Conference Programme

Date and time: Wednesday, 23 June 2021 2.45pm (BST)

Keynote presentation: Sustainability in research: Editorial challenges and opportunities

Speaker: Monica Contestabile, Editor-in-Chief of Nature Sustainability

The sustainability research landscape is complex reflecting the real-world complexities scholars are grappling with. Editors have a critical role to play in order to ensure that significant interdisciplinary contributions to address sustainability problems are fairly validated and widely disseminated alongside fundamental, disciplinary scholarship.

This keynote presentation from Monica Contestabile will consider the issues of sustainability research, and the responsibilities that editors have beyond ensuring that their journals publish good quality research.

Date and time: Wednesday, 23 June 2021 4.00pm (BST)

Presentation: The EASE environmental manifesto has been circulated amongst members for comment and will be launched at this session

Speaker: Stephan Mertens, EASE Council

Date and time: Thursday, 24 June 2021
Morning session 9am (BST) – for those in Asia and eastern time zones
and repeated in the afternoon
Afternoon session 2.45pm (BST) – for those in western time zones

Debate: Preprints are a more inclusive and sustainable method of scholarly communication than journals

This session will debate whether preprints or journals represent the most inclusive, diverse and sustainable means of scholarly communication. The debaters will consider issues included in the SDGs, such as speed of communication, diversity of voices, inclusivity of all geographical regions and researchers, and quality concerns. Recognising that there are widely divergent opinions on this topic, the session will be run twice: once with debaters from Asian countries, and once with debaters presenting European and American perspectives.

This session will be run as a formal debate, with two speakers to each present an opposing view, and a moderator: the audience will be invited to vote for the proposal at the start and again at the end of the session, to see if the debaters can change their mind during the session. This promises to be a lively session!

Moderators: Bahar Mehmani, Pippa Smart

Date and time: Thursday, 24 June 1.30 (BST)

Presentation: Promoting gender, cultural and geographic diversity in scientific journals

The underrepresentation of women and other minority groups in science has become more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this session we will see results from a large study including data on over 5 million authors and reviewers, discuss the lack of heterogeneity among editorial teams, and explore ways to make research and publishing more inclusive for people of diverse genders, geographical locations, ethnicities, and other forms of diversity.

This session will be moderated by Joan Marsh, Chair of EASE Gender Policy Committee, who will host three speakers presenting three aspects of the topic. It will include polls and Q&A.

Bahar Mehmani – Only Second-Class Tickets for Women in the COVID-19 Race: A Study on Manuscript Submissions and Reviews in Elsevier Journals

Mathilda Hellman – Diversity in the Editorial Workforce

Deborah Sweet – The Cell Press Inclusion and Diversity Statement

Date and time: Thursday, 24 June 4.00pm (BST)

Panel discussion: How local journals are using technology to ensure sustainability

This session will be a panel discussion with experts from international publication organizations, journal editors and libraries who will share their experiences, knowledge and research on the issue of sustainability of local scientific journals. The panel will attempt to answer the important question of whether there is a future for local/regional journals in a world of increasingly international publishing – and what this might this look like.

The panel will also consider questions such as how regional journals can gain acceptance within their research communities and compete with big-brand international journals for authors and readers. How can, and should, technology be used to support regional journals and what type of support systems is sustainable – commercial or institution/government funding? How can you best employ new technologies to keep up with new trends, best practices and requirements, without incurring unrealistic overheads?

We don’t have all the answers, but we do have some thoughts! Join us to hear our experiences and ideas, and bring your own to inform an active discussion on technology, sustainability, editing and journal publishing.

Ariannna Becerril, executive director of Redalyc/Amelica
Ksenija Basdaric, Editor-in-Chief of European Science Editing, tbc

Date and time: Friday, 25 June 2021 11.00am (BST)

Discussion groups: EASE Forum Live!

Following the success of last year’s forum, we will again run this hour-long session to consider questions and challenges for all editors, and to take the opportunity to learn from EASE member experiences. Each group will comprise approximately 12 people to ensure everyone can participate. Delegates will choose which session they wish to join. Each session will be moderated to help the group consider a question, discuss the issues it raises, share experiences and suggestions.

The topics will be announced in April.

Date and time: Friday, 25 June 2021 12.30pm (BST)

Presentations: Editing and publishing in times of crisis – 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, what have we learned and which changes will stay?

The COVID-19 pandemic, officially declared by WHO on 11 March 2020 continues to have a major impact on societies and individuals, touching all aspects of professional and personal lives. A number of topical presentations at the EASE 2020 virtual conference paid tribute to the then emerging public health crisis. The pandemic has been ongoing since and has profoundly influenced a number of aspects related to editing and publishing. This session will highlight some of these and follow on some developments presented at the 2020 EASE conference aiming to point out future directions and lessons learnt.  

This session will feature three short presentations, polls and Q&A.

Date and time: Friday, 25 June 2021 1.45pm (BST)

Presentation: What environmental responsibilities do editors and publishers have?

Climate change research has clearly demonstrated the paramount importance of striving for a carbon-neutral use of our resources in the 2030s. In this respect, the publishing sector should to act in concert with other industries. Editors can take steps to reduce their carbon footprint personally and in their own environment e.g. by using repairable and energy-efficient devices and thereby contribute to the overall effort to reduce global warming. In addition, they can motivate authors to discuss the consequences of global warming within their discipline and publish special, themed issues on aspects of climate change from diverse disciplines and angles.

This session will feature three presenters, who will talk about editors’ and researchers’ attitudes to sustainability in journals and how journal policies affect publishing decisions as well as applied strategies from individual journals, followed by a Q&A.


Yvonne Höller, Associate Professor for Psychology, University of Akureyri, Iceland
Alastair Brown, Editor-In-Chief of The Lancet Planetary Health – tbc

Date and time: Friday, 25 June 2021 3.00pm (BST)

Closing plenary: Meeting the challenges of publishing in a world of politicised science

Science entails the systematic observational or experimental study of facts or truths in order to advance knowledge and lead to innovation. However, science is increasingly under attack – reputable findings are accused of being fake or flawed and ultimately discredited, whilst ‘fake news’ continues to grow. Editors play a vital role in safeguarding scientific integrity and quality by ensuring completeness of methods, enabling reproducibility of findings and guaranteeing that conclusions drawn are based on findings presented in a transparent and understandable manner. They also have a responsibility to ensure that a diversity of opinions is published to avoid bias and to strive for the SDGs. However editors working in politicised areas such as environmental policy can find themselves pressured to promote certain viewpoints and even to give space to biased research; and they may spend considerable time defending their judgements against political or social attacks. Speakers in this final session will discuss the challenges editors face in a world of politicised science and will discuss the responsibilities of editors for sustaining transparency, trust, and credibility in such circumstances.

President’s closing remarks and thanks – to follow, close at 4.15pm