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ISLS Update on ICLS 2020

Dear colleagues,

We are in challenging and uncertain times. Many of us are anxious about the whirlwind of events related to COVID-19 and its effects on our families and communities. We hope that you and yours are well and able to take all of the necessary precautions to stay healthy.

We are writing to provide an update on the ICLS 2020 conference. The ISLS Board has formed a COVID-19 Special Task Force to address the ongoing situation. The Task Force includes representatives of the ISLS Board and the local conference organizers in Nashville, Tennessee. Without question, the first priority of the Task Force is the health and safety of the ISLS community. With this in mind, we are addressing the possibility of different conference formats ––live, hybrid, or virtual –– while considering the serious financial implications for the Society.

Most current travel restrictions go out as far as 8 weeks, yet our conference is 12 weeks away. Because of existing contracts, these different timelines make it difficult to make definitive decisions at this point. We plan to track the situation closely, with a goal of re-evaluating the conference format question and implications for registration costs around mid- to late April. We will of course make adjustments as appropriate to those who may have already registered. In the meantime, we urge you to make sure your ISLS membership dues for 2020 have been paid (join here or renew your membership), because these are vital to the functioning of the organization.

In the meantime, we have made two decisions about moving forward:

  • First, we are extending Early Bird registration to allow more time for people to make wise choices about their travel and for potential adjustments to the registration fees. The original Early Bird registration deadline was April 15; it is now May 7.
  • Second, regardless of conference format (live, hybrid, or virtual), we want to reassure all of our authors and reviewers that we are moving ahead with the publication of the conference proceedings so that our community’s scientific contributions can be shared. As always, for your paper to be included in the proceedings at least one author must be a current ISLS member and registered for whatever version of the conference we hold.

Finally, we ask for your cooperation in directing any questions you have to the COVID-19 Special Task Force (isls.covid19@gmail.com) rather than to the ICLS 2020 conference organizers or individual board members. This will assure consistency in responding to the myriad questions we imagine you have. We ask for your understanding and patience as we navigate this complex and dynamic situation with your health and well-being foremost on our minds.

Sincerely,

Members of the ISLS COVID-19 Special Task Force

Joshua Danish, Susan Goldman, Melissa Gresalfi, Ilana Horn, Heisawn Jeong, Susan Jurow, Victor Lee, Oskar Lindwall, Jasmine Ma, and Joseph Polman

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