Spread knowledge, not CO2

Green Seminar Series

Objectives

Challenge

Academics emit between 10 and 30 tons of CO2 per year through flying. That’s a lot! A round trip from New York to Geneva in business class generates 2-3 tons of CO2, about the same amount each of us produces per year for food. International interactions are essential to share knowledge and technologies, but does scientific progress have to come at such a high carbocost?

Solution

By taking advantage of recent advances in teleconferencing technologies, the goal of the Green Seminar Series Geneva is to reduce air travel for speakers, while keeping the live feel and spirit of department-wide gatherings, including through one-on-one interactions.

Concept

One speaker, one audience

The audience in Geneva gathers together in the auditorium and follows the green seminar on a large screen while the voice and image of the remote speaker is provided via a live video stream. Slides and speaker are visible at the same time allowing for a natural presentation. Conversely, the speaker can see, hear and interact with the audience at all times. A local host introduces the speaker and relays questions if necessary.

we Keep it simple

Ready-to-use software (ZOOM) allows the speaker to broadcast from any dedicated conference room, office or from home. A support team is ready to work out any practical issues. Adaptable schedules take into account intercontinental time differences. Speakers don’t have to go through flight scheduling and security checks, and can take advantage of even short availabilities in their schedules. A few hours are actually sufficient to share cutting-edge science with the other side of the world. No time, money or CO2 is wasted by traveling.

We'LL make you feel at home

To promote sharing of unpublished data, our broadcast is limited to a single audience and is not recorded. This provides an intimate setting ideal to stir lively discussions with peers during and after the presentation.

ONE-ON-ONE SHORT MEETINGS

Private one-on-one conversations are often the most important and interesting parts of an on-site visit, and we want to keep it that way. This format is maintained during a green seminar virtual visit. Before and after the talk, the speaker gets to interact with members of the department in a dedicated studio where informal discussions and data sharing can happen naturally. These one-on-one discussions are scheduled in advance thus allowing for smooth transitions between meetings.

Program

February 13th 2020
Rapid Waking State Transitions Explain Neural and Behavioral Variance
Location: University of Oregon, Eugene (USA)
Distance: 8800 Km

Carbon emission saved

5.5 tons

January 23rd 2020
How the Brain Represents Objects

Location: Caltech, Pasadena (USA)
Distance: 9500 Km

Carbon emission saved

6.0 tons

December 19th 2019
Molecular, Cellular and Circuit-Level Control of Social Behaviors

Location: Harvard University, Cambridge (USA)
Distance: 5900 Km

Carbon emission saved

3.7 tons

Technologies

  • A modern, 80 seat seminar room (B02.2526 or B02.2226) equipped with a CISCO SX20 Codec, through which the image of the speaker is streamed to a mobile plasma screen (Panasonic HD), while the presentation is shown on the main projection system (Panasonic Projector). The system simultaneously provides a full view of the seminar room (CISCO SX20 built-in camera) and a copy of the sound system (wireless microphones) back to the invited speaker. 
  • Our auditorium (CISCO codecs) and the invited speaker (free ZOOM software or professional system) communicate via a dedicated H.323/SIP Room Connector. 
  • A friendly host will set up the equipment, introduce the speaker and relay the questions.

Scheduled in avance, the 25min “one-on-one” interactions with the invited speaker take place in room B02.1527. It is specifically set up for these meetings and equipped with: 

  • CISCO MX300 codec composed of a large plasma screen and a high resolution zoom video camera. The HDMI signal of any external computer can be shared via this system. 
  • A table and office chair in front of white neutral background. 
  • Frontal facing white LED lights for even and flicker free illumination.
  • The “one-on-one” meeting room and the invited speaker communicate via a link to a dedicated H.323/SIP Room Connector.

  • We will use Zoom as software and provide the according link to a H.323/SIP Room Connector. This allows the speaker to use professional equipment or a personal computer. Detailed instructions and assistance will be provided to the speaker a few days in advance.
  • We prefer a professional conference system via H323 or SIP protocols (CISCO or similar), since it greatly improves the ease and quality for the speaker and the audience. Ask for help from your professional AV or IT staff to set up the specific equipment. 
  • When using a personal computer, we highly recommend to follow the following indications:   
    • FInd quiet room. 
    • Use a fast (>20 Mbps), wired network connection (avoid Wifi).
    • Don’t forget to connect your wall mount power supply for your PC (to avoid power and processing issues).
    • Use a high-quality external microphone and speaker (or combination). For example:  
    • We recommend diffuse lighting from the front (e.g. window). We do not recommend lighting from behind or above (neons), because this causes underexposed and poorly lit faces. A neutral and static background helps to reduce distractions during the talk. 
    • Some people prefer giving the presentation while standing. This significantly improves the intonation and makes the presentation more dynamic. 
  • Please provide us with a classical phone line for last resort debugging.
  • For any questions please contact: greenseminar@unige.ch

Contacts

 

Centre Médical Universitaire
Email:
catherine.pham@unige.ch

Phone: +41 22 379 54 44
Address: 1 rue Michel-Servet, 1206 Geneva, Switzerland

Local Organizers:
Daniel Huber
Sami El-Boustani
Denis Jabaudon 
Alexandre Pouget
Anthony Holtmaat
Alan Carleton

 

 

 

 

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