Postponed: JUNE 21-25, 2021 THE 31st INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ARABIDOPSIS RESEARCH
(1) ICAR 2020/2021/2022 ORGANIZING COMMITTEES JOINT STATEMENT (2) INFORMATION FOR ICAR 2020 PARTICIPANTS
(1) To the International Arabidopsis and Plant Science Communities,
Due to the current global COVID-19 situation we have collaboratively decided to postpone the upcoming International Conferences on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR) by one year such that ICAR 2020 becomes ICAR 2021-Seattle, followed by ICAR 2022-Belfast and ICAR 2023-Japan.
Therefore we hope you will be excited to sign up for ICAR 2021-Seattle (June 21-25, 2021), as well as ICAR 2022-Belfast (June 20-24, 2022), and ICAR 2023-Japan (date TBA).
Our rationale is this: as the gravity of this global pandemic is becoming clearer, we have come to realize that it would be inadvisable to convene ICAR 2020 this July. Because the safety and health of our community are more important than convening this summer, we believe it would be irresponsible to host a large international conference where there is a substantial risk to our participants (and by extension, our friends, colleagues, and families back at home).
Members of the worldwide Arabidopsis and plant science research communities have watched the tragic global spread of the COVID-19 disease that has affected many aspects of our daily and scientific lives. With respect to this year’s International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR 2020), the North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee (NAASC) started planning a set of options in February, in case it became clear that this year’s conference, scheduled for July, in Seattle, USA, should not be held.
The organizers of ICAR 2020-Seattle, ICAR 2021- Belfast, UK, and ICAR 2022- Japan, convened to discuss how best to collaboratively support the global Arabidopsis community in these unprecedented and challenging times. We know that ICAR is our community’s primary annual convening, where cutting-edge research is shared and collaborations are established and strengthened. We don’t take lightly the amount of effort that has already been extended for ICAR 2020, including a diverse program consisting of 32 community-organized sessions that were chosen as part of a community competition, and 24 platform speakers invited from the international community. We also considered the planning undertaken by the UK and Japanese Arabidopsis communities for ICARs 2021 and 2022. Ultimately, we agreed we must prioritize our community’s health and safety by postponing ICAR 2020.
The Arabidopsis community is tightly linked and interdependent. Our multinational cooperation began solidly in the early 1990’s via the joint efforts by researchers in many nations to sequence the Arabidopsis genome and continued in the 2000’s and beyond. Our collaborative partnerships remain vital today, even as regional research and educational objectives may shift to reflect evolving priorities, advances in technologies, and local funding realities, among other considerations. Thank you for understanding the difficult position we are in with respect to this unexpected crisis. We hope that you, and those closest to you, remain healthy, and that as a community, we can continue to support each other as much as possible.
Joanna Friesner, NAASC Executive Director, Lead ICAR 2020/2021 Organizer; on behalf of the North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee (NAASC) (1)
Geraint Parry, GARNet Coordinator and Lead Organiser of ICAR2022; on behalf of the GARNet leadership group (2)
Motoaki Seki, MASC Japanese Country Representative and a lead organizer of ICAR 2023; on behalf of the ICAR 2023 Organizing Committee in Japan (3)
(1)NAASC: Jose Dinneny, Stanford University, NAASC Treasurer; Elizabeth Haswell, Washington University- St. Louis, Representative to MASC; Roger Innes, Indiana University, NAASC President; Peter McCourt, University of Toronto; Sean Cutler, University of California, Riverside; Jennifer Nemhauser, University of Washington, Seattle, NAASC Vice-President and ICAR-Seattle local host; Federica Brandizzi, Michigan State University; Anna Stepanova, NC State University; Siobhan Braybrook, UCLA; Keith Slotkin, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center & Univ. of Missouri-Columbia http://www.arabidopsisresearch.org/index.php/en/naasc (site to be updated shortly to become: http://icar2021.arabidopsisresearch.org) (2) GARNet Leadership Group: Jim Murray, Cardiff University and Steven Spoel, University of Edinburgh http://icar2022.arabidopsisresearch.org/ (3)ICAR 2023 Organizing Committee in Japan: Lead Organizers: Motoaki Seki, RIKEN CSRS and Tetsuya Higashiyama, Nagoya Univ./Univ. of Tokyo; Advisers: Kazuo Shinozaki, RIKEN CSRS; Kiyotaka Okada, Ryukoku Univ., Satoshi Tabata, Kazusa DNA Res. Inst.; Hiroo Fukuda, Univ. of Tokyo; Ikuko Hara-Nishimura, Konan Univ. Members: Toshiro Ito, NAIST; Yusaku Uga, NARO; Masaaki Umeda, NAIST; Misato Ohtani, Univ. of Tokyo; Masanori Okamoto, Utsunomiya Univ.; Tetsuji Kakutani, Univ. of Tokyo/NIG; Tetsu Kinoshita, Yokohama City Univ.; Toshinori Kinoshita, Nagoya Univ.; Masatomo Kobayashi, RIKEN BRC; Kazuki Saito, RIKEN CSRS/Chiba Univ.; Wataru Sakamoto, Okayama Univ.; Akiko Satake, Kyushu Univ.; Ken Shirasu, RIKEN CSRS; Keiko Sugimoto, RIKEN CSRS; Hirokazu Tsukaya, Univ. of Tokyo; Taku Demura, NAIST; Keiji Nakajima, NAIST; Takeshi Nakano, Kyoto Univ.; Shinya Hagihara, RIKEN CSRS; Masami Yokota Hirai, RIKEN CSRS; Minami Matsui, RIKEN CSRS; Nobutaka Mitsuda, AIST; Miyo Terao Morita, NIBB
(2) ICAR 2020 POSTPONED TO JUNE 21-25, 2021 DUE TO GLOBAL COVID-19 CONCERNS Message Take-Aways
ICAR 2020 is being postponed and will become ICAR 2021 (June 21-25, 2021) at the same location: University of Washington, Seattle
Details regarding refunds, travel award competition, and our objective to transfer as much of the existing program to next year as possible etc. are provided below.
ICAR 2021-Belfast is postponed and will become ICAR 2022-Belfast (June 20-24, 2022)
ICAR 2022-Japan is postponed and will become ICAR 2023- Japan (date/location, tba)
Since late February, NAASC (the ICAR 2020 organizing committee), has been monitoring the SARS-CoV-2 virus outbreak, and COVID-19. We've been proactively developing options in case it became clear that it would be inadvisable to hold ICAR 2020 in Seattle, the site of the first confirmed U.S. cases of COVID-19. We've been talking with University of Washington-Seattle conference staff and our international Arabidopsis community colleagues, and the organizers for ICARs 2021 (Ireland) and 2022 (Japan). In addition, we continued to monitor actions taken by other science conferences taking place in the near and medium term. We paused new registrations on March 7th in order to assess the situation without incurring additional fees (on our end). We offer our best wishes, in particular, to our Asian colleagues whose countries have dealt first with the brunt of this outbreak, and have provided important lessons in managing its spread. Also, to our European colleagues, whose countries are currently experiencing increasing cases and hardship.
As the gravity of this global pandemic is becoming clear, U.S. testing for COVID-19 is finally ramping up, and scientific and medical experts have additional data to develop more accurate models, we have come to realize that it would be inadvisable to convene ICAR 2020 this July.
Through consultation with our international colleagues, we will postpone ICAR 2020 to June 21-25, 2021, in Seattle. As described in our joint statement (ABOVE), the organizers of ICARs 2020 (USA), 2021 (UK) and 2022 (Japan) have come together, on behalf of the global Arabidopsis community, to work together to solve some of the challenges caused by these extraordinary circumstances. We express our gratitude for the willingness of our international partners to postpone their meetings and allow ICAR 2020 to take place in 2021.
Although we are sorely disappointed with this necessary action, the safety and health of our community are more important than convening this summer and we believe it would be irresponsible to host a large international conference where there is a substantial risk to our participants (and by extension, our friends, colleagues, and families back at home). We willtransfer as much of the existing program to ICAR 2021 as possible. Many from our global community have been part of developing a diverse, and exciting scientific program over the past two years, including 32 community-organized sessions selected through a community competition. We anticipate that some speakers and organizers will be unable to re-commit for next summer; we will find excellent replacements over the next 6-12 months as needed. Organizers will soon reach out to invited speakers and session organizers to discuss their individual situation and to determine whether they can be part of the program in 2021. Thank you for understanding the difficult position we are in with respect to this unexpected crisis. We hope you will be excited to sign up for ICAR 2021-Seattle, and also hope that you, and those closest to you, remain healthy. If you have additional questions that aren't answered, below, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, the local staff at the University of Washington are currently overwhelmed with managing near-term and future events that must be rescheduled or canceled, all while working off-site to comply with campus closures. Therefore, please be patient with an expected slower-than-usual response time; they are doing their best to manage many events in addition to ours, and are under significant stress.
Below you can find additional information about reimbursements, fees, and next steps for program participants. We will be sure to take care of your needs, it just may take time. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation. Yours, Joanna Joanna Friesner, NAASC Executive Director, Lead ICAR 2020 Organizer On behalf of the North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee (NAASC)
Jose Dinneny, Stanford University (2015 - 2020) NAASC Treasurer
Elizabeth Haswell, Washington University- St. Louis (2015 - 2020) Representative to MASC
Roger Innes, Indiana University (2016 - 2021) NAASC President
Peter McCourt, University of Toronto (2016 - 2021)
Sean Cutler, University of California, Riverside (2017 - 2022)
Jennifer Nemhauser, University of Washington, Seattle (2017 - 2022) NAASC Vice-President
Federica Brandizzi, Michigan State University (2018 - 2023)
Anna Stepanova, NC State University (2018 - 2023)
Siobhan Braybrook, UCLA (2019 - 2024)
Keith Slotkin, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center & Univ. of Missouri-Columbia (2019 - 2024)
NAASC organizers will waive the $100/person cancellation fee and provide full reimbursements.
This week, the University of Washington will initiate reimbursements of all charges paid by registrants. You do not need to request a refund; refunds will be issued automatically. Once the refund is initiated, it will take several business days to show up on your account. Therefore, please be patient and look for your reimbursement to post sometime during March 30-April 3.
We hope you will re-register for ICAR 2021-Seattle when we reopen the registration site late this year or early 2021. We will notify the community through our various outreach mechanisms when this occurs. Invited Plenary and Keynote Speakers Members of NAASC will reach out to you in the coming days to discuss whether you are able to participate as an invited speaker at ICAR 2021- Seattle (June 21-25, 2021). Community Mini-symposia and Workshops ICAR organizers will reach out to the ORGANIZERS of each session (mini-symposia and workshops) in the coming days to discuss whether they will organize their session at ICAR 2021- Seattle. Budget offers may be reduced as we will lose some existing funds due to grant expiration. We will ask each organizer to communicate with their program participants.
For example, if the organizer is unable to commit to the program in 2021, they will be instructed to communicate this cancellation to all session speakers in a timely manner.
Alternatively, if the organizer can commit to ICAR 2021, they will be instructed to communicate this to session speakers and confirm with each whether they also want to remain part of the program.
In the event that an organizer is unable to lead their session at ICAR 2021, they may attempt to find a replacement organizer. Replacements must be communicated to, and confirmed by, ICAR organizers.
Please be aware that our budgets will change for 2021 as some of our funding will have expired. Therefore, new budget offers will be necessary for most sessions, unless we are able to secure additional funding.
Travel Award Competition We will hold the applications, letters of recommendation, and supporting documents (e.g. CVs) until early 2021. At that time, we will contact each applicant to ask if they would like their materials to be considered again. At that time, applicants will have the opportunity to update their materials. For example, you may wish to submit a new CV, a new letter of recommendation, or new answers on the information form. In particular, if you've transitioned to a new position, have a new advisor, or have new accomplishments (publications, grants), you may wish to update your materials. You may also withdraw your application (now, or in the future). To withdraw your application, email us at email@example.com. We will delete your submitted materials. Exhibitors, Sponsors, Advertisers We invite you to consider leaving your funds intact and transfer them to ICAR 2021-Seattle. To the best of our abilities, we will implement your funding as you have designated (e.g. sponsorship of a particular event, or session). However, if this is not desirable, we will fully reimburse your funds. In this case, we hope you will consider joining us in Seattle for ICAR 2021. We appreciate our generous supporters who make our community-supported conference possible! It is only through exhibitors, sponsors and advertisers that we can offer travel grants to our participants (speakers, students, session organizers, etc.) Dorm Lodging Cancellations UPDATE: Dorms will begin initiating refunds and will refund all fees including the $20 ordinarily non-refundable reservation fee. Their Finance Team is running a skeleton crew, so refunds may be slightly delayed, but normally we communicate a processing timeline of 5-7 business days.
Outdated Original: Guest cancellations on or before the deadline date (June 12, 2020) will receive a full refund, less the $20 non-refundable Housing Reservation Fee. You should consult the University dorm reservation receipt that was emailed to you after you register for instructions on how to cancel. Submitted Abstracts We will delete existing abstracts from the submission database. If you plan to attend ICAR 2021-Seattle, you will upload a new abstract when we reopen the database, late this year, or January 2021.
Arabidopsis as a nexus for Discovery, Innovation, Application and Impact