During a challenging year in which all of us are likely to have spent some or all of our time working from home, we have also missed out on the opportunity to attend traditional in-person events and conferences. The various national RSE workshops and conferences that have been run over recent years have become a key point in the annual calendar for many RSEs. An opportunity to meet and network with peers, present your work, share knowledge and experience and build new collaborations. This is something many of us will have been missing and, in early September 2020, SORSE - the Series of Online Research Software Events - came to the rescue!
The culmination of several months of planning by a large international team, SORSE aimed to replace the various cancelled RSE conferences with a series of online events run over an extended period. In addition to hosting talks by several invited speakers, the series provided the opportunity for members of the RSE community to propose talks, panels, software demos, posters and workshops. The response from the community has been fantastic with each monthly review period receiving new submissions. The series has included more than 25 events, with several of these containing multiple talks. Many events have been recorded and are available online to provide a lasting resource and the potential for ongoing impact within the community.
Unfortunately, as the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end” and on Wednesday, 24th March, SORSE will host its final event of the 2020/21 series, wrapping up what has been a very successful set of events.
Agenda for March, 24th
We’ll begin with a brief introduction followed by a talk on the new International Council of RSE Associations from Stephan Druskat. This will be followed by a talk summarising the SORSE series and time for a final community networking session.
All times in UTC.
16:00: Welcome and introduction to the event
Sandra Gesing, University of Notre Dame
16:05: The International Council of RSE Associations
Stephan Druskat, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Abstract: The UK RSE association was founded in 2013, and since then, a number of formal national RSE associations and initiatives have formed: there are now groups in Germany, the Netherlands, Africa, Australia/New Zealand, the Nordics, Belgium, and the United States, along with the Society of Research Software Engineering in the UK. These groups informally talk and collaborate by a variety of means, be it serving on committees for each others’ national conferences, running a concerted RSE survey, or this very series of online research software events. The recently founded International Council of RSE Associations provides a formal open forum for established national and multinational RSE associations to talk and coordinate regularly, and thus sustain this international collaboration. In this talk, I will briefly introduce the Council, and its aims and setup.
16:30: In review: The SORSE Series 2020/21
Teri Forey, Teri Apps
16:45: Have your say: Community Feedback
interactive feedback session facilitated by Chris Cave-Ayland and Jeremy Cohen, Imperial College London
17:00: Networking session - all welcome
The series has provided a great opportunity for people working in the research software space, through a difficult period, to keep up with developments, to present and maintain visibility for their work and meet other community members. It has also provided the chance for a level of international participation in events that would have been impractical with in-person events. This is one of the positive outcomes of the shift to online activities, and something that we hope will continue even as events eventually begin to happen in person again.
Will SORSE return for a 2021/22 season? The honest answer is that we don’t know at present. Things continue to change rapidly and while we hope that there will be scope for events to begin happening again in person as we move towards the end of 2021, there is, of course, no certainty of this. If there is an appetite within the research software community for such activities to be available later in 2021, we hope that members of the SORSE committees will be able to contribute to this. In the meantime, have a good spring/summer, or autumn/winter, season depending on where you’re located and we hope to see you at RSE events, either online, or in person, in the future.
Keep well and stay safe.