Second virtual IceCube Collaboration meeting ends today

Members of the IceCube Collaboration at the virtual banquet. Credit: Dennis Comerford, IceCube/WIPAC

Today marked the end of the 2020 Fall IceCube Collaboration Meeting, the second collaboration meeting held virtually due to the pandemic. Originally, members of the international IceCube Collaboration planned to gather in Madison, Wisconsin, home of the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center (WIPAC) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the headquarters for IceCube’s maintenance and operations. The meeting was also supposed to coincide with a celebration of the 10-year anniversary of full operation of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, but the festivities were postponed to September 2021, travel permitting.

Despite its drawbacks, the virtual meeting format has proven beneficial in some respects. This collaboration meeting had 312 registrants, possibly the most of any IceCube Collaboration meeting ever. To accommodate collaborators stationed all over the world, talks and discussions took place over the course of two weeks instead of one.

In addition to the science talks, there were other community-building opportunities, all held virtually: a gathering for LGBTQ+ collaborators and allies, a women’s lunch, and a social justice workshop.

Earlier today, the collaboration also hosted its first-ever virtual banquet in lieu of the formal banquet traditionally held during in-person meetings. Since no food was actually shared, IceCube collaborators had compiled a cookbook of favorite recipes prior to the gathering so individuals could prepare something special for the meal. During the banquet, the 2018-2019 IceCube winterovers, Kathrin Mallot and Benjamin Eberhardt, gave a talk about their favorite things about spending a year at the South Pole.

The final event of the collaboration meeting is “SoundWaves: From Minuscule to Massive: The Universe According to IceCube,” a series of free public lectures by five IceCube scientists combined with classical music, happening tonight at 7:30 pm CDT. Find out more here, and register for free here to get the webinar link.

The next IceCube Collaboration meeting is planned for March 2021 in Aachen, Germany.