If you live in London you may have had your life interrupted over the last two weeks by the Extinction Rebellion protests. This is a serious environmental movement that wants us to act now to save the planet from environmental catastrophe.

As part of the protest, my daughters have been giving me a hard time about my carbon footprint. They want to know if I am offsetting my air miles, which I do occasionally, that is when I personally book my flights. But in general, I am sure that most of my air miles are not offset. However, there is one initiative I am proud of that is addressing climate change and that is TriMS.online.

triMS-online is a virtual online conference for people interested in MS. The original idea of triMS-online came from this blog; thank you.  

The aims of triMS-online are multiple. The objective is to do punchy, short, themed MS-related conferences online that can be viewed as a live event, or asynchronously, i.e. when you have the time. This is particularly useful for people who can’t travel for family reasons, for example, you may have young children or you are a carer. Or you simply don’t have the time and/or resources to travel to large international meetings.

triMS-online is environmentally friendly; imagine how many air miles we are avoiding by not having to fly people to conferences?

The other advantage of triMS-online is that it takes high-quality MS research and education to resource-poor environments across the globe. We want a new generation of MS researchers and HCPs to have access to the latest MS research and teaching.

As founding chair of the scientific committee of triMS-online, I wanted to use the opportunity to shake things up a bit. When you go to ECTRIMS it is generally the same-old faces and KoLs on the platforms; the English refer to this as the ‘Old Farts’ syndrome, which includes me. We, therefore, invited a diverse group of ‘young’  MS academics from across the globe to run triMS-online and we made a strategic decision of having at least an equal number of women on the steering committee; in fact, 6 out of 10 of members are women.

The following is our second triMS-online programme, which addresses paediatric MS. We plan to run about 2-3 triMS.online conferences a year and have many ambitious plans for the triMS-online platform going forward. One idea is to host regional meetings on the platform, for example, a Latin American meeting in Spanish. Why not one in Polish or for that matter any other language?

I urge you to register for the next meeting and to submit posters. The platform is like a real conference with meeting rooms, social events and exhibition spaces.

We will be need feedback, including suggestions for future meetings. Don’t be shy and join the revolution, even though it may not be a rebellion.

We would encourage young academics, in particular, those who are from under-represented groups to submit posters for this next meeting.

CoI: multiple

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.


  • You’ve spent most of your professional life (30 years ) in a white, male, private school educated, middle class dominated profession. Only recently have you jumped on the bandwagon of diversity and gender equality.

    I’ve followed this blog since the beginning and have lost count of the flights you have taken to attend conferences etc. I would guess you average 50 flights a year. You have enjoyed international travel (although you moan about it) as part of your job. Now you want to deprive young neuros / scientists of opportunities to travel overseas and restrict them to sitting in front of a computer monitor.

    As you are so concerned about the environment, will you forego the trip later this week to Philadelphia to attend the AAN meeting?

    You remind me of Emma Thompson who took part in last weeks protests in London and then had to admit that she flew business class to attend the protests.

    Giovannoni the eco-warrior, class warrior, Corbynista isn’t you. You like fine wine, top class restaurants, business class travel etc. You may we’ll own a winery in your beloved South Africa. Ditch the Labour luvvy, champagne socialist act and learn to accept the truth – you are part of the chattering classes with a bank balance that would put many investment managers to shame. At least you recycle your very expensive wine bottles.

  • It’s very good that you are thinking about the climate crisis and doing something positive. Yes, it’s a crisis. With the tipping points kicking in, e.g. melting ice sheets and permafrost, insect populations and pollination dwindling, deforestation, the shut down of the Gulf Stream, we are in for serious changes if we don’t all do what we can. No one will be in a position to care about MS research if/when our entire environment, civilisation crumbles.

  • Why wont you “walk the walk” and convince all your peers at Ectrims 2019

    To do an EcTriMS.online short of conference

    10000 plus mavens online, that would save a lot of air miles and carbon emissions

    Ps: Pharma would have to be convince to


    • Convince the grey suits….I think ProfG tried…but wading in treacle comes to mind.
      P.S. The online TRIMS is sponsored by Pharma so they are convinced

  • ProfG, could you make more comments to be visible at the recent comment section?

    I am sorry I find too boring (and white) the political correctness of this envirenmentally friendly online conference, so no comment on that.

  • Please understand that for every knucklehead who pisses and moans about your efforts there are hundreds grateful for the outstanding work you do presenting usable research in making us more knowledgeable about MS and related issues.

    To me, this site is a gift I treasure. The knowledge gained here over years has made incredibly important differences in successfully managing MS in this household.

    I’ve learned much in comments people have made and appreciate those, also.

    But occasionally there are comments where I simple shake my head and chuckle… wondering what on earth conspired to make someone so miserable or ungrateful. Dear God!

    Ignorance, lack of knowledge, can be as restrictive as prison chains. It makes no sense to discourage the efforts of those who would assist escape.

    Please continue working in the strength which comes from those who appreciate and respect your work. Thank you for making a huge, huge difference in my life and loved ones.

    • C’est la vie! You have to have thick skin to put your head above the parapet; fortunately, we have developed Rhino skins 😉

      • Gavin, if I could only be as articulate in expressing my support of this site and its contributors as Rollo. Instead I’ll have to make do with one of our family expressions: ‘Big Ditto!’

  • Perhaps frequent flyers could do something beneficial for the planet in return. A kind of exchange…. for example litter picking when walking the dog.

By Prof G



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