New Horizons in Conference Faciliites for XMM-Newton

Pilot project offers childcare facilities at ESAC conference

XMM-Newton are leading the way in future ways of working, by having introduced a childcare facility option at their international scientific workshop that took place 13-15 June at ESAC.


The need to provide childcare service options for people attending conferences is a very real problem in the scientific community. Wanting to help people who are parents as well as scientists was the motivation for XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre (SOC) to work together with Facility Management at ESAC to offer a temporary childcare service on site for the three days of this workshop.

XMM-Newton Scientist Simone Migliari helped to set up the initiative: "The discussions, exchange of ideas and networking that take place during conferences are extremely important to shape the future of research. For young scientists especially, conferences are crucial for the development of a professional career. If they have children and nobody can take care of them, traveling would be impossible and their career opportunities as well as their voice in the science community will be very limited. So, I am happy that ESAC joined other international institutions in offering this childcare service."

CSIC staff scientist Nanda Rea from Barcelona was thrilled with the service: "My kids (8 and 6 years old) spent three exciting days 'in space' thanks to the ESAC Childcare while I was attending the conference. A fantastic experience they'll never forget."

This pilot was a huge success, and will hopefully become a standard service made available at future ESAC conferences, providing the scientific community with the childcare support needed to allow parents to attend conferences and workshops, and making important improvements to the way we work in the future.