Steves' Summer All Zoom Epoch of Reionization Astronomy Conference

6-9 July 2020 #sazerac2020


THANKS (10 July 2020)

Thank you to everyone who made SAZERAC a huge success. We're now exploring ways to keep us connected going forward. If you any have thoughts please use the sazerac-feedback Slack channel or contact us by email

All talks now available online (10 July 2020)

All the live talks are now avaialble online here and our YouTube channel.

Zoom/Slack emailed (6 July 2020)

By now everyone should have recieved the Zoom and Slack invite links. If you still haven't recieved them please email us ASAP. Until then you can watch SAZERAC live via our YouTube channel.

Registration closed and live streaming (3 July 2020)

Registration has now closed as we have have gone beyond our Zoom capacity. We do however intend to livestream the meeting via our YouTube channel.

SAZERAC dedicated to Olivier Le Fevre (1 July 2020)

We were saddened to learn of the recent passing of our friend and colleague Olivier Le Fevre. Olivier had a tremendous impact on our field and for this reason we have decided to dedicate SAZERAC to Olivier. The SAZERAC SOC and LOC sends our condolences to Olivier’s family and friends.

Live Schedule Now Available (23 June 2020)

The live SAZERAC schedule is now available here. If you would like to submit a pre-recorded talk for inclusion on the website please upload it to YouTube and submit it here.

A message from the SOC (8 June 2020)

Thank you to everyone who responded to our poll to select new dates for SAZERAC. This poll revealed that the week commencing July 6 maximized both the number of selected speakers and participants who could attend the meeting and so SAZERAC will run Monday 6 July - Thursday 9 July. A separate email will go to speakers asking them to update their availability, and we will aim for a revised daily schedule soon.

A message from the SOC (3 June 2020)

We have been saddened and deeply troubled to have witnessed the tragic murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police, and the subsequent use of excessive force against peaceful protestors across the US. Systemic racism permeates all aspects of our society, including academia. These current events show why it is incumbent amongst all of us, especially those more privileged, to fight harder for true equality and justice.

In light of the ongoing protests around the US and the world, we feel it would be inappropriate to continue to hold SAZERAC as scheduled next week, and plan to reschedule it for later in the summer. While systemic racism will certainly not be solved by a few weeks delay, it will give all of us time to learn and reflect on how we can work to improve our society, and it will provide everyone space to focus on this crucial issue now.

The SOC has examined potentially available weeks, attempting to avoid other meetings, and has identified the weeks of June 22, July 6, July 13 and July 20 as potential options. Registered participants have been asked to express a preference.

Finally, we note that SAZERAC did not have any registration fee, thus we encourage those who are able and willing to donate to anti-racism causes, particularly those which support the Black Lives Matter movement, and bail for jailed protestors, or to volunteer on related activities. Such options are easily found online, and some (including other resources), are listed here


One consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic is the necessary cancellation of all in-person summer conferences. This has a variety of negative consequences for everyone, but has a particular impact on junior researchers who have lost the opportunity to present their work during a time in their career when they need to maximize their exposure.

To bring our community together and give colleagues a forum to advertise their work, we are hosting SAZERAC: the Summer All-Zoom Epoch of Reionization Astronomy. Participation in SAZERAC will be entirely online via zoom, with all talks recorded and posted on our website for later viewing, and discussion and interaction facilitated via Slack.

Scientific themes

Talk sessions at SAZERAC will focus on variety of topics, observational and theoretical, spanning the epoch of reionization (broadly z > 5), including:


The SOC is responsible for defining the objectives and scientific themes of SAZERAC as well as selecting the live talks.

  • Caitlin Casey, University of Texas, Austin
  • Anson D'Aloisio, University of California, Riverside
  • Marusa Bradac, University of California, Davis
  • Romeel Dáve, University of Edinburgh
  • Xiaohui Fan, University of Arizona
  • Steve Finkelstein, University of Texas, Austin (co-chair)
  • Charlotte Mason, Center for Astrophysics, Harvard & Smithsonian
  • Pascal Oesch, University of Geneva
  • Masami Ouchi, University of Tokyo
  • Laura Pentericci, INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma
  • Renske Smit, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Aprajita Verma, University of Oxford
  • Stephen Wilkins, University of Sussex (co-chair)

The LOC is responsible for technical aspects of the delivery of SAZERAC including website development, video editting, and moderating the Slack workspace.

  • Micaela Bagley, University of Texas, Austin
  • Luke Conaboy, University of Sussex
  • Steve Finkelstein, University of Texas, Austin
  • Jussi Kuusisto, University of Sussex
  • Rebecca Larson, University of Texas, Austin
  • Will Roper, University of Sussex
  • Aswin Vijayan, University of Sussex
  • Stephen Wilkins, University of Sussex

To overcome timezone and childcare constraints, we will have 5 3.5 hour sessions over 8-11 June. Each session will consist of two 90 minute sub-sessions with a 30 min break inbetween. Four sessions (Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur) will begin at 1330 UTC (0630/0930 US West/East Coast, 1430 in UK, 2230 in Tokyo) and one session on Wed 10 June at 0800 UTC (0100/0400 US West/East Coast, 0900 in UK, 1700 in Tokyo). Talks will be 10 minutes long with 3 minutes for live questions and 2 minutes for handover.

  • Session 1: Monday 6 July 1330 UTC
  • Session 2: Tuesday 7 July 1330 UTC
  • Session 3: Wednesday 8 July 0800 UTC
  • Session 4: Wednesday 8 July 1330 UTC
  • Session 5: Thursday 9 July 1330 UTC

To faciliate collaboration and discussion we will establish a Slack workspace. There will be separate channels for each session where participants are encouraged to ask and answer questions. The Slack workspace will also provide the possibility of virtual posters where participants can upload a single slide or figure and respond to questions.

Because we are unable to offer most participants a live talk there will also be the opportunity to upload talks listed on the SAZERAC website.

Code of Conduct

Attendance at SAZERAC is not a right but a privilege, and attendees are expected to behave professionally. The SAZERAC organizers are committed to providing an atmosphere that encourages the free expression and exchange of scientific ideas.

This document establishes a code of conduct for all attendees of SAZERAC. By participating in SAZERAC in any way, including as an attendee, a presenter, or an organizer, you agree to abide by this code of conduct. Failure to adhere to this code of conduct in all SAZERAC-related circumstances, including in the main session webinars, in the Slack channels, other SAZERAC-related events, or any in person, telephone, or other electronic communication related to SAZERAC, will result in removal from all conference events.

Our scientific community values all members, regardless of (alphabetically) age, cultural background, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, gender identity, marital status, nationality, physical appearance, political affiliation, pregnancy, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and status as a caregiver (including as a parent). The ability of SAZERAC to allow our community to share its research results and promote the careers of junior attendees depends critically on maintaining a culture of inclusivity, where all voices are respected and heard.

SAZERAC will not tolerate verbal, nonverbal, physical, or sexual harassment or bullying of any kind. Behavior and language acceptable to one person may not be to another. Unwelcome attention, threatening or abusive language, insulting, hurtful, or disrespectful comments, are strictly banned from SAZERAC. Members must make every effort to ensure that words and actions communicate respect for others, regardless of opinion regarding the person or their scientific results.

SAZERAC places a high priority on eliminating sexual harassment in any form from the workplace. As a rule, sexual advancements should not take place in any professional setting, including social events related to a professional event. Members should be especially conscientious of real or perceived power gradients such as seniority, status, or reputation, that may place a member in a vulnerable position.

SAZERAC is not a public event. All attendees must register via the website, and should not share the connection information to Zoom or Slack with non-registered people. When connecting to Zoom or slack, all attendees should use their own name, and not attempt to misrepresent themselves.

During SAZERAC sessions, the Session Chair is in charge. Speakers must keep to their allotted time, ideally using a timer. If they exceed their time, their question time will be reduced, and if they speak through all of the question time, they will be disconnected. When asking questions of speakers, please be professional, courteous, and polite. If a participant engages in obvious harassing behavior during the presentations, the Chairs may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or removing them from the conference.

SAZERAC participants who believe that they have witnessed or been negatively impacted by a possible violation of the Code of Conduct should contact the SOC by emailing to initiate a complaint, including any available evidence (e.g., screenshots) in their email. If a majority of the SOC concurs that this code has been violated, the offender will be immediately removed from all SAZERAC events. The offender will then be contacted by the SOC, and will have the opportunity to appeal the decision. This appeal will be considered by the SOC, whose decision will be final.

Contact Us

If you need to get in touch with the organisers please email us at

What is a Sazerac?

The Sazerac is a local New Orleans variation of a cognac or whiskey cocktail, named for the Sazerac de Forge et Fils brand of cognac brandy that served as its original main ingredient. The drink is most traditionally a combination of cognac or rye whiskey, absinthe, Peychaud's Bitters, and sugar, although bourbon whiskey or Herbsaint are sometimes substituted.

  • 5 cl cognac
  • 1 cl absinthe
  • One sugar cube
  • Two dashes Peychaud's Bitters
  • Lemon peel for garnish

Rinse a chilled old-fashioned glass with the absinthe, add crushed ice, and set it aside. Stir the remaining ingredients over ice and set it aside. Discard the ice and any excess absinthe from the prepared glass, and strain the drink into the glass. Add the lemon peel for garnish.

Non-alcoholic Sazerac

For a non-alcoholic alternative the cognac and absinthe can be substituted for non-alcoholic alternatives such as those produced by Lyres. Alternatively you could try this experimenting with falvoured teas and star anise alongside the bitters and sugar.