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On the Matter of Virtual Conferences

Dan Drezner writes about the benefits and downfalls of virtual conferences, via his Washington Post column.

This week on Earth 2, my doppelganger would be explaining the dearth of Spoiler Alerts columns because of his attendance at the International Studies Association (ISA) annual meeting. On that Earth, ISA would be held in Las Vegas for the first time, a year after being held in Honolulu. These sites would have stood in marked contrast to the more traditional (and less expensive) locales in which ISA has held its conferences in the past: Baltimore in February, Toronto in March; you get the idea.

Alas, on this Earth, ISA canceled its 2020 conference, and this year’s meetings are virtual. I cannot reject the hypothesis that the pandemic will not end until ISA returns to its traditional cold-weather conferences.

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