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VICS 5th workshop: Moving forward by looking back

Bern, Switzerland
Workshop report
Contact person
Peter Abbott
E-Mail address
Working groups
Meeting Category

The 5th Volcanic Impacts on Climate and Society (VICS) working group workshop "Moving forward by looking back" will take place from 22-24 May 2023 in Bern, Switzerland. 


Date: 22-24 May 2023
Venue: UniS, Schanzenstrasse 1, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland and online

> Download the Final Program Booklet


The workshop will be held in a hybrid format with physical and online participation possible. The workshop will feature invited talks, oral and poster presentations. This is an open workshop for a maximum of 75 participants. 

The organizers are committed to setting up possibilities for remote participation, including streaming presentations online and accepting questions from online viewers. More information will be provided closer to the time.


The VICS working group aims to:

  • coordinate improved reconstructions of volcanic radiative forcing;

  • enhance our understanding of volcanically-induced climate variability by engaging a wide range of paleoclimate specialists; and

  • deepen our understanding of societal impacts of, and human responses to, volcanic eruptions, especially within the emerging framework of compound events.

This fifth VICS workshop will extend the range of interest deeper into the past, as well as into the future and mark the end of Phase 2 of VICS. 

The interdisciplinary purpose of VICS relies on the expertise of scientists and scholars from a variety of backgrounds, including those in the fields of volcanology, atmospheric chemistry, ice-core science, high-resolution paleoclimate reconstructions, climate modeling, archaeology and anthropology, and history.

Selected workshop objectives

  • Summarise the current state of volcanic reconstructions, associated climate forcing and societal impacts.

  • Integrate new ice-core reconstructions of volcanic activity and radiative forcing, covering the past 60,000 years, into assessments of natural climate variability and volcanic risk.

  • Expand the themes of VICS drawing on evidence from archaeology, palynology and textural sources.

  • Introduce new results from CMIP6 and PMIP4 model simulations related to volcanic eruptions and climate impact.

  • Development of strategies to engage stakeholders and the general public concerning volcanic hazards.

Workshop sessions

  • Volcanology and hazards

  • Climate and volcanic proxies

  • Observations and models

  • Human impacts in history and archaeology

Keynote Speakers

Eliza Cook (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Sebastian Guillet (University of Geneva, Switzerland)
Helen Innes (University of St Andrews, UK)
Lara Mani (University of Cambridge, UK)
Lauren Marshall (University of Durham, UK)
Lee Mordechai (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
Alice Paine (University of Oxford, UK)
Charlotte Pearson (University of Arizona, USA)
Christian von Savigny (University of Greifswald, Germany)
Thomas Sheldrake (University of Geneva, Switzerland)
Sönke Stern (University of Auckland, New Zealand)

Important dates

15 January 2023: Call for abstracts and registration open
15 February 2023 22 February 2023: Abstract submission, travel grant application deadline
28 February 2023: Notification of abstract acceptance and presentation type, notification of travel grant awards
31 March 2023: Registration deadline
15 April 2023: Release of programme and abstract booklet

Abstract submission

Submissions for talks and in-person poster presentations are welcome by the 15 February. In-person talks are preferred, but it could be possible to present virtually in certain circumstances, so please add a note during abstract submission for consideration by the VICS Steering Committee.

Accepted oral presentations should not exceed 12 minutes (3 minutes for discussion). Posters can be up to A0 size (portrait). A selection process might be necessary for submissions for oral presentation. The workshop language is English. Abstracts must not exceed 300 words. Authors can only submit one first author abstract. Abstracts can be submitted via conftool


Registration for the conference closes on 31 March.

Conference registration fee for in person attendance: 200 CHF (there will be a reduced fee of 100 CHF for PhD students).
The fee for in-person conference registration includes workshop registration, materials, lunch and coffee breaks, and the conference dinner. Registration is possible via conftool

There will be no registration fee for virtual participation.

Financial support

Thanks to funding from PAGES and the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research we can provide grants to support the travel expenses of early-career researchers. 

To assess eligibility for these grants we will use the ECR criteria set out by PAGES:
“PAGES usually defines an early-career researcher (ECR) as an undergraduate or postgraduate (Masters/PhD) student, or a scientist, within five years of completing their PhD. However, these guidelines are flexible and take into account reasons for absences.”

To apply please send an application confirming your ECR status, detailing all anticipated travel costs and a short statement on the relevance of the VICS workshop to your research to Peter Abbott ( Applications will be evaluated by the VICS Steering Committee.

Further information

Please direct any questions you have to Peter Abbott ( and we will deal with them ASAP.

For further details, please visit the event webpage:


PAGES does not tolerate any sort of discrimination or harassment at workshops, and is committed to an open and welcoming environment for all. 
If you feel uncomfortable during the workshop for any reason, you can contact the following people:


*The 5th Volcanic Impacts on Climate and Society (VICS) working group workshop "Moving forward by looking back" originally proposed to be in Aarhus, Denmark, will now be in Bern, Switzerland. This workshop was originally planned for 30 September - 2 October 2020, then rescheduled for 8-10 March 2021, and now taking place from 22-24 May 2023.*