Dear ISTR members
The Executive Committee met virtually on 14 May as planned and unanimously agreed, supported by the Biosafety Steering Group (BSG), that the ISTR Autumn Symposium (Engineering for Safety) would be postponed until November 2021. It is anticipated that social distancing of some form will remain for the rest of 2020, making it impractical to go ahead as planned. It was also felt that it was not appropriate to encourage travel to Manchester from across the UK and beyond. The primary concern is always the protection of vulnerable individuals and our members. Furthermore, members who feel unable to travel, or anxious about the situation, should not miss out.
Whilst the symposium has been postponed, the AGM will still take place, albeit in virtual form, on 18 November as planned (followed by a virtual drinks reception) in line with the ISTR constitution.
We would like to reassure the membership that your Executive Committee and the BSG are committed to providing content and are working hard to deliver alternative events across the course of the year.
To that end, please put 8-10 September 2020 in your diaries for a virtual mini-symposium. This has the running title: ‘Don’t stand so close to me - working safely in research during a pandemic’. This will consist of a day of discussion groups followed by a social programme the following day and culminating in a plenary session on the third day to develop a useful resource for members. There will be a nominal charge for attendance, to include a donation to charity on behalf of ISTR. Watch this space for further details.
We are also working to reschedule the cancelled Spring and Summer Workshops and are consulting with Aurora and Camfil with respect to delivering online webinars and/or workshops.
Many thanks for your continued support and please do carry on supporting each other, especially in these circumstances. We look forward to ‘seeing’ you in September!
Liz McMinn (EC Chair) and Jon Gawn (BSG Chair).
On behalf of the EC and BSG
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