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HelioNauts: Cross-Organization Forum for Heliophysics

Presentation #108.15 in the session Instrumentation and Data Center Posters.

Published onSep 18, 2023
HelioNauts: Cross-Organization Forum for Heliophysics

The pandemic exposed our great need for a more permanent community-wide discourse in Heliophysics that supplements in-person interactions at conferences and within our local departments. As a response, we rushed into chat software (Slack, Teams, …), creating new channels and workspaces “ad-hoc” to suit our conversational needs. However, their content is transient, easily missed when it has scrolled off the page, and thus requires a synchronous, distracting online presence to stay informed. The excessive use of chat rooms, often costly, has led to a myriad of places overlapping in content, leaving us unclear about where a particular conversation should occur. While these traditional chat apps may be great within a focused group, they cannot scale easily to a diverse, multidisciplinary community of hundreds of our peers. To address this problem, and to build on evolving digital communication trends, NASA is supporting, a cross-organizational, permanent online platform for heliophysicists worldwide to engage in community-wide discourse. The discussions are titled, topic-based, and easily searchable with an optimized search engine. Smart notifications facilitate asynchronous conversations that do not require an immediate online presence. The platform supports Markdowns, LaTeX, code syntax highlighting, which enables the exchange of high-level scientific conversations articulated around technical knowledge. Helionauts’ topics can be about promoting an event (workshop, summer school), your newly published paper, a job opportunity, programming questions (Python, IDL, …) on how to calibrate an instrument, or any other topic related to heliophysics. Entirely free to sign up and use, more than 400 heliophysicists joined Helionauts since its official launch in March 2021. Our members range from mission specialists and instrument experts to postdocs, PhD students and interns. By embracing an inclusive approach, ensures equitable access to heliophysics expertise for under-served communities, allowing members to disseminate up-to-date information throughout their networks and benefit from the collective wisdom of the global heliophysics community, ultimately driving mutual support and collaboration in the community.

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