PAGES Topical Science Meetings combine the strengths of its two most successful formats: the convening power, integrative character and high visibility of the PAGES Open Science Meetings and the scientific focus, world-class expertise and productivity of the interactive workshops of PAGES’ question-driven Working Groups. The new Topical Science Meeting format is designed to address societally and scientifically important matters in a way that is both focussed and comprehensive and has the flexibility to integrate ideas and inputs of the local conveners.

PAGES coordinates community-based research on the study of climate and environment of the past and promotes activities designed to identify key issues that can only be addressed through international community cooperation. The PAGES’ interdisciplinary Working Groups are instrumental in tackling these broad questions. PAGES supports their workshops to facilitate discussion, research, and community building.

In addition, once every four years, PAGES organizes the OSM for the past global changes community to share, discuss and learn about the most recent research topics, to inspire developments of research agendas, to plan for future activities, and to fully reflect the importance of an interdisciplinary approach.

The Topical Science Meetings offer a format where a topic of scientific opportunity and societal relevance can be addressed integratively across several PAGES Working Groups and potentially other interested partners. The Topical Science Meetings thus aim to fill the gap between the small Working Group workshops, devoted to specific research topics, and the large OSMs that convene the entire past global change community under the full thematic scope of past global change sciences. The addition of this complementary Topical Science Meeting concept aims to facilitate direct exchange between PAGES Working Groups working on interconnected topics. It does so by integrating the annual workshops of three or more topically relevant Working Groups in one concerted and highly visible Topical Science Meeting. Additional strength is added by hosts who have an invested interest and strong expertise in the topic.

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Topical Science Meetings are a complementary format between large, multidisciplinary Open Science Meetings and more scientifically specialized Working Group (WG) workshops.

The event will be closely co-designed between the local organizers and PAGES. Three or more PAGES Working Groups with a complementary theme (see boxes for hypothetical examples) hold their annual workshops at the same time and venue. The local organizers propose the topic of the meeting according to their own scientific interest. We are convinced that a close collaboration between the local conveners and PAGES, involving the contribution of interested stakeholders, will allow for strong interaction between the Working Groups and the local research community and favor the transfer of knowledge to society, thus increasing its international impact. We expect that the synergies of a Topical Science Meeting are a beneficial way to generate strong scientific output at moderate financial and ecological costs.