The 43rd COSPAR Scientific Assembly in Sydney, Australia, has been postponed to 28 January – 4 February 2021. See here for full text of postponement announcement. Information on the scientific program and other relevant links are available at https://www.cospar-assembly.org/. The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) website, for information on registration, accommodation and other matters, is open at http://www.cospar2021.org/.
COSPAR Scientific Assembly Registration Fees
The registration fees for all COSPAR Scientific Assemblies include a payment to COSPAR, the so-called COSPAR rebate, which is essential income once every two years for COSPAR to be able to fulfill its mission of encouraging and facilitating international cooperation in space research. Unlike other professional societies, there is no annual membership fee for participating in COSPAR, but instead the biennial registration fee. When the payment to COSPAR is subtracted from the registration fees for COSPAR-2021-Hybrid, the portion of the registration fee available to cover the costs of the Assembly is comparable to what other organizations are currently charging for their virtual conferences.
In evaluating the registration fees for COSPAR-2021-Hybrid, there are really only two questions to address. (1) Is the registration fee fair, i. e. competitive with other conferences? The answer is yes: when you subtract the rebate, the registration fees are comparable to other major virtual conferences. (2) Is the Assembly of value? The answer is again yes, since it will be of more value than other virtual conferences.
Indeed, this Assembly will serve as a model for how virtual international conferences should be offered. The LOC has invested in technology that will make COSPAR-2021-Hybrid unique: all scientific content will be available from the start of the Assembly through the end of 2021. Participation in the Q&A discussions of all sessions will be possible at a time convenient for all time zones. And what is truly unique, virtual participants in COSPAR-2021-Hybrid will be able to have spontaneous one-on-one interactions, or even group discussions, as if they were physically present in Sydney.
The technology used for the Assembly is expensive, and in fact remote participation will cost more to the organizers than on-site participants do, so generally speaking it is the persons in Sydney who will be subsidizing virtual participants.
Please take a look at the video at http://www.cospar2021.org which explains how COSPAR will be different/better than most virtual meetings and why it is necessary to maintain a registration fee (although it has been substantially reduced from what was originally planned for the on-site meeting).
At http://www.cospar2021.org/faqs.php you will also find further information on all these matters.