EGU24 – Enjoyed to the fullest

With 18,896 presentations given in 1,044 sessions, it’s a challenge to summarize all the impressions gathered last week at EGU24. As I reflect on the event, and although thoughts in my head are racing as rabbits, here are the key takeaways that I’d like to share:

Science communication: Empowering society as scientists

Science journalism is a public service and, as scientists, we have a responsibility to empower society.  Bridging the gap between scientific research and the general public is essential. Here are some tips for effective communication:

  • Keep it short and use storytelling;
  • Start with the main takeaway, emphasizing positivity and solutions;
  • Be clear about what is evidence based and what is your opinion.
  • Use everyday language and keep in mind that some terms have different meanings to scientists and the general public.

Another thought-provoking topic was that of mis- and disinformation. Can you recognize the common tactics used in science denial? Remember FLICC:

  • Fake Experts: Beware of individuals posing as experts without credible qualifications.
  • Logical Fallacies: Spot flawed reasoning and faulty arguments.
  • Impossible Expectations: Be cautious of claims that promise too much.
  • Cherry Picking: Look out for selective use of data to support a specific narrative.
  • Conspiracy Theory: Stay critical and question unfounded conspiracy claims.

For more information visit: FLICC-Poster – a successful collaboration between klimafakten and SkS ( or A history of FLICC: the 5 techniques of science denial – Cranky Uncle and explore the Cranky Uncle game app!

AI in Scientific publishing: bane or blessing?

Do the benefits of AI outweigh the risks? And is the answer to this question even relevant?

AI is here. We’re in a storming phase, wherein we‘re starting to see the enormous potential it can bring (and some might feel overwhelmed by it), and wherein we need to think about how we want to use AI as a society. Encouraging the responsible use of AI is crucial. We should ask ourselves: How will I, as a scientist, use AI to improve society?

The discussion at also touched on the pressures academics face regarding publishing. The obsession with quantifying success—measuring publications by sheer numbers (as if weighing apples) —can be toxic. Instead, let’s shift our focus. What legacy do we want our publications to leave for future generations? Produce quality, not quantity.

Climate change and its effects on the water sector

There were several interesting presentations on the implications of climate change on water systems. Here are some key takeaways from the discussions:

  • Growing tensions between water supply and demand underscore the urgency of effective water management. Integrating water use modeling with hydrological simulations is crucial.
  • In some cities facing increasing water demand, traditional supply projects fall short. Enter ‘Buy & Dry’: reallocating water from agriculture to urban use. However, the socioeconomic implications remain poorly understood. Researchers dived into individual irrigators’ behavior and its ripple effects on rural economies and social dynamics. Findings provide valuable insights for assessing socioeconomic impacts and shaping policies to mitigate negative externalities associated with water transfers.
  • Climate tipping points pose a latent, often underestimated, threat to the water sector. Decision-makers must incorporate tipping point scenarios into drinking water strategies, given the profound uncertainty and far-reaching consequences associated with these events.
  • The water sector should shift its focus from efficiency to resilience.
  • Some information has a value. Which (or how much) information is actionable?

Embracing Innovation for Urban Water Systems

I convened the session on ‘Water resources policy and management: digital water and interconnected urban infrastructure’. The energy in the session was palpable, and I’m admittedly biased, but it was an outstanding session! The presenters delivered inspiring pitches and we had dynamic and constructive discussions at the interactive screens. Some of the covered topics:

  • water demand modeling;
  • control and design of water distribution networks;
  • leak detection;
  • environmental impact and added value of digital water meters ;
  • data-driven and model-based approaches, and the combination of both;
  • numerical optimization;
  • and the latest trends in generative AI.

Main Takeaway: Water utilities grapple with climate change, rapid urbanization, and population growth. Technological advancements and digital solutions empower us to design, plan, and manage sustainable and resilient urban water networks.

Teamwork and EDI: #EGU24 marks my third year of convening this session, and I feel that we’re consolidating  – both in content and as a cohesive team. Plus, our session received an EDI logo, signifying compliance with equality, diversity, and inclusion standards set by EGU!

The motto of EGU24 was ‘Enjoy to the fullest’ and we made every effort to live up to it!