BIRS COVID-19 Outbreak March 17 Update: Meetings Proceeding Virtually

Posted on Tue, Mar 17 2020 09:01:00

Dear BIRS organizers and participants,

Despite the disruption to worldwide travel, this week’s BIRS workshop is off to a productive start, with 60 participants joining from their homes and offices around the world on Monday, via video conferencing. The virtual meeting is being hosted and managed by BIRS, allowing the workshop to proceed with their schedule of talks throughout the week. We invite and encourage all forthcoming meetings to proceed in this way.

The technology is very easy to use. Participants are sent a link to click, which offers the choice between a simple software download and run, or to join the meeting with their web browser. Once joined, the participants can enable their cameras and/or microphones, to participate fully in the meeting. The video collaboration service delivers clear audio and high definition video that is good enough for participants to see writing on a chalkboard and ask questions of the speaker. The talks are live streamed and recorded, as per usual at BIRS. Our live stream, directly from the video collaboration software, will be online whenever meetings are taking place, at

As the COVID-19 outbreak causes cancelations of events around the world, it is important that scientific research not grind to a halt. We have confirmed that the technology works, and allows these important research collaborations to continue. We urge you to take advantage of this pivotal moment, and proceed with your meeting, virtually.

Please discuss among your group if you would like to proceed with your meeting in this way, and let us know. BIRS will setup the video collaboration software, add the meeting links to your schedule, and email you or your workshop participants the links they should follow to join the meeting. Currently, we are using Zoom software, but are experimenting with other options, in search of the most optimal solution.

Nassif Ghoussoub
Director, Banff International Research Station