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Annual Scientific Committee meeting begins

The IWC Scientific Committee begins its annual meeting today.  Despite the limitations imposed by Covid-19, the group will work through a busy and challenging agenda, ranging from genetics and population structure to pollution and climate change.

This will be the second virtual meeting of the Scientific Committee.  It has met every year since 1955 to discuss their latest research and develop recommendations to the Commission.  As many organisations have discovered, remote meetings pose a number of challenges but also offer some benefits, particularly accessibility.  Attendance at Scientific Committee meetings usually fluctuates between 120 and 200 scientists.  Last year’s virtual format enabled 270 people to participate, and this year’s meeting has attracted 500 registrations from more than 30 countries, reinforcing recent efforts by the Commission to increase transparency, accessibility and understanding of the IWC’s scientific work programme.

This year’s schedule is constructed around two meeting slots each day, with three different sessions running concurrently in each slot.  Session times will vary according to time zones, to try and accommodate the scientists most involved in particular topics, and ensure no region is consistently managing very late or early sessions.  The virtual format and wide range of time zones mean that the overall duration of the meeting will be slightly longer than usual.  Pre-meetings and correspondence discussions have been underway for some time and the meeting itself begins today and will close on 14 May.

For more information about the IWC Scientific Committee meeting, click here.

To read previous reports of the IWC Scientific Committee, click here.