Dear IFTR Members,
This is an important announcement concerning IFTR Galway 2021. Our Galway hosts and the Executive Committee have taken the decision that the 2021 conference be fully online.
This has been a difficult call for us to make. Back in the summer we had hoped that countries around the world would begin to see an easing of the pandemic; instead many are struggling with waves of new infections. While there is good news on the horizon regarding the production of vaccines that will hopefully combat the disease, we feel that during 2021 many uncertainties and vulnerabilities will remain: the difficulties of being able to travel, quarantine measures, social distancing that may still prohibit gathering in large numbers, and increased economic precarity as institutional funding for travel to conferences next year diminishes, if not disappears altogether. As safeguarding IFTR members is a paramount consideration then we feel the online conference option is the way forward for 2021. And at least this way, we can offer certainty in these uncertain times: we will know for sure the conference can happen!
Our Galway hosts are ready and working positively to embrace the online format, dedicated to realising the best possible conference experience in what is a completely new terrain for the Federation. There will be many organisational layers for the Galway team and the Executive Committee to consider in the coming months, so we kindly ask in advance for your patience and goodwill as we prepare and plan to deliver Galway 2021 online. Meanwhile, the call for papers is open (Deadline January 31st 2021) and we welcome your abstracts.
With the best of wishes to all,
President of IFTR