The EU Project CALIPSOplus – and with it its tremendous integration and dissemination efforts – came to an end in October 2021, leaving the European light sources with the fear that the successes achieved might fade away without a successor programme.
Unfortunately, we already see the inclusion of scientific communities from EU 13 countries crumbling, due to a lack of trans national access funding. Several users informed us, that they will not submit proposals, since they cannot afford the trip to one of our facilities.
At the same time, COVID 19 forced us to rethink time-honoured procedures, to value new digital and virtual tools as well as take advantage of their potential. Digital formats from virtual tours and training to remote access options already exist, but these need to be advertised and extended.
The LEAPS plenary meeting decided to face these challenges and set up a new work programme for LEAPS working group “Education, Dissemination, Training” (WG6). Consecutively, a workshop was held, dealing with the future and tasks of WG6.
“It was more than impressive to see the great interest in outreach to new communities, new areas (scientifically as well as regionally) and to the general public”, explains Antje Vollmer, WG6 member who is spokesperson for the working group.
Bridges to ESUO and other LEAPS activities like the task Force IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, anti-discrimination) were discussed.
From across all LEAPS facilities 26 participants expressed great interest in WG 6, a work programme was established and first measures started the very same evening of the workshop.
A collection of all LEAPS activities concerning social media, virtual tours, education and training activities, and an event calendar is work in progress. A project “Include Africa” shall be presented to the LEAPS R&D board and subsequently to the LEAPS GA in spring this year.
“It was amazing and highly encouraging to see the strong involvement of so many facilities and the engagement which followed the workshop immediately,” says Vollmer enthusiastically.