Smerbeck, A. et al
Attendees of the joint convention on Carbon Emissions From Unnecessary Travel and Preventing Disease Transmission say that they regret the organization’s decision to hold the gathering on a cruise ship after being stranded aboard the vessel for three weeks.
The annual convention, organized by the International Association of Uncomfortably Honest Academics (IAUHA) was slated to promote two themes always popular with professional scientists: temporarily ignoring the real and existential threat posed by carbon emissions and promoting contagion by touching an enormous array of both things and people from around the world.
Hoping to provide a more authentic experience for conference attendees, the IAUHA had arranged for the convention to be held on an international cruise ship. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire convention will remain sea-bound for the foreseeable future.
“It’s just a bit of bad timing,” said Nigel Wither, IAUHA chair, “but we’re hoping we can convince the government to let us off the ship if we cancel the keynote speech on the importance of physically close networking.”
Other IAUHA members are calling for new leadership, and felt that the disaster would not have happened had they chosen one of the other proposed themes.
“Janine Berkow really pushed for this year’s theme to be ‘Disadvantaging Female Academics by Making a Necessity of Travel Which is Unaccommodating to Pregnant and Parenting Researchers’ –especially after the IAUHA announced that they would not be providing childcare or lactation rooms– but the title was just too long,” said Mark Warsaw, junior member of the IAUHA conference coordinating committee. “Personally, I voted for ‘Normalizing Binge Drinking’ with the convention at a brewery, but I was outvoted.”
Warsaw shook his head. “Bet they wish they’d gone with my idea now.”