The Finnish National Defence University (FNDU) is pleased to host the ISMS Annual Conference 2020. Originally, the conference was scheduled to take place as a traditional “physical conference” at the FNDU campus in Helsinki Finland. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions caused by it, FNDU has created an alternative format for the ISMS 2020 conference to safeguard participants’ health and to overcome potential travel restrictions that still may be in effect in fall 2020. 

The theme of the conference is “Military Sciences vs. Open Sciences.” It has been amended to consider the impact of the ongoing pandemic. With the theme, we would like to encourage the participants of the conference to challenge their preconceptions about how, why, on what and for whom we do research on the area of military sciences. 

The term “Military Science” or “Military Sciences” juxtaposes two worlds. The military world is traditionally based on secrecy and control of information while the scientific world is open for public criticism. The main intention of the “Open Science” movement is to make scientific research—including publications, data, physical samples, software, and dissemination of results—accessible to everybody. 

Open science encourages sharing knowledge and building new research on previous research regardless of where it has been conducted. Thus, this theme challenges researchers in both the military world and the world of science to learn from the experiences of the other.  

In addition, the current COVID-19 pandemic has made new demands on armed forces - fulfilling ordinary tasks and providing stability and sustainability of modern societies. We cannot avoid touching these issues. Hence, this conference offers also an opportunity to exchange experiences on the best practices for military research and education conducted during a pandemic, and new tasks for armed forces and their partner organizations. 

This is our first experience of a virtual conference with ISMS, and we hope to see the usual participants, and some new faces freed from the need to travel. 

Virtual ISMS annual conference 2020 will take place in two phases:

  • 13-26 October, working groups (registered authors and attendees) have off-line (asynchronous) phase in Virtual meeting rooms led by WG Chairs. Participants can view abstracts, give comments, ask questions, and contribute in each working group.

  • 27-29 October, there will be an online virtual conference (registered authors and attendees) including plenary sessions on a video teleconferencing platform (Zoom), parallel working group sessions in virtual meeting rooms, and social meeting forums. 

Additionally there are Business meetings on 29 October. 

This two-phased virtual conference will be a test for new working methods to improve future physical conferences, which might be improved by circulating materials online before meeting.

Last modified: Wednesday, 7 October 2020, 9:59 AM