Nine weeks to the 34th ECNP Congress Hybrid in Lisbon
With this July message, I am very pleased to be able to tell you that the 34th ECNP Congress in Lisbon, Portugal, on 2-5 October 2021, is steadily moving forward as a hybrid meeting. And many of us are thrilled at the prospect of finally being able to meet, disseminate knowledge, learn, and network.
Planning in this environment, as you’ll appreciate, is very a challenging task. The degree of uncertainly is not something ECNP – or any other congress organiser, I suspect – has ever had to deal with before. Many other organisations, for understandable reasons, have shied away as a result from face-to-face meetings this year.
We think it’s worth it though. Science is a conversation, and it fundamentally relies on face-to-face interaction and exchange to carry it forward. The appetite for a face-to-face meetings often gets characterised as ‘Zoom fatigue’, but it’s much more than that. It’s the feeling that without these opportunities to collaborate and connect in-person, we simply can’t do our jobs fully as researchers and clinicians. The ECNP Executive committee feels very strongly that, if the College’s mission is serve our community, we have to do everything we can to respond to this need.
And I’m happy to say that interest in the in-person meeting is very strong, with the key metrics – registrations, presenter confirmations, poster submissions, industry support – all highly encouraging. It’s all a sign of how the field is yearning to return to normal, and do what it does best. The programme is excellent, the speaker line-up is superb, and with 21 industry sessions, we also have an outstanding industry offering.
Obviously, we will continue to monitor developments closely. Although the Covid situation remains concerning, our view is that, based on an analysis of the scientific evidence, the risks it presents can be managed, and should in no way prevent a safe and successful meeting. By October our congress delegates should have been vaccinated. Special measures onsite will also be taken to ensure participant safety. This year, for example, we will, unfortunately, not be able to offer child-care at the congress.
We’re confident that science will prevail, and that the 34th ECNP Congress Hybrid will be the first step on the road back to normality for the ECNP community. We’re very pleased that so many clearly agree. For those of you who have not yet registered, I would warmly invite you to do so. This will be a very special meeting. I very much look forward to see you in Lisbon!
Until then, I wish you a wonderful summer!
Gitte Moos Knudsen