screenshot taken on 15 June 2020 during the scientific committee zoom meeting, missing in this picture: Patty Balvanera

After meeting in person last December in Lüneburg, the Scientific Committee came together on 15 June virtually.

As it has been not only a long time not seeing each other, but also due to Covid-19 it has been an uncertain, challenging time since March 2020, it was good checking in with everyone and especially seeing everyone well. When talking about personal and professional experiences, it also became clear that PECS can have a role in contributing to find strategies for dealing with further crises. Further, it also needs to be mentioned that among all negative news, the PECS Scientific Committee registered positive news that were associated with local-based initiatives and grassroot organisations.

Positive news can also be declared regarding two Special Issues by PECS. In 2020 PECS will launch a Special Issue with key insights gained during its second open science conference in 2017 (PECS II) which took place in Oaxaca, Mexico. Check the hashtag #PECSspecialissue on twitter, where we will post contributing papers and keep you updated. Also, on the website, you will find a section with Special Issues soon. On top, in 2021 PECS will celebrate its 10th birthday with another Special Issue around the topic ‘learning and reflecting the past’ and key insights from social-ecological research.

To dive deeper in the topics of place-based social-ecological research, the Scientific Committee also talked about PECS working groups. The benefits of becoming a PECS working group are not only that PECS is a fun, energetic network of people, but PECS can also help to make groups more visible, to build networks with other organisations and provide resources. To promote these benefits and the possibility of becoming a PECS working group, by the end of 2020 it will be an open call for new working groups. So, stay also tuned for this!

The last topic of this meeting was the planning of the next PECS conference. The initial plan was a conference in person. Due to Covid-19, but also to make the conference easier to access from people from all over the world, the Scientific Committee promoted the idea of a concept with a mix of virtual attendance and being present locally.

Looking at the meeting in retrospect, it shows that the Scientific Committee is keen on progressing with PECS and that there are a lot of exciting things to look forward to.