Countdown to the 34th ECNP Congress Hybrid in Lisbon
With less than two weeks to the 34th ECNP Congress Hybrid in Lisbon, Portugal, I’m looking forward to it with great enthusiasm. For many of us who will be onsite in Lisbon, this will be the first time we’ve met colleagues face-to-face in more than a year and a half. The chance to learn, network, exchange ideas and share discoveries and know-how is very exciting.
Fortunately, Portugal has been experiencing a drastic reduction in the biweekly number of its Covid cases, and now has one of the Europe’s lowest incidences. This is possibly related to Portugal also being one of the world’s most vaccinated nations, with authorities gradually rolling back most Covid restrictions. The vagaries of the pandemic have made this an anxious year, but the omens, I’m pleased to say, are looking good!
Planning in such a constantly changing environment has been a complicated and challenging task, and I here want to give a special and huge thanks to the ECNP staff, who have worked tirelessly and determinedly to make both the physical and the online parts of the meeting a success. The road has not been without bumps. We decided early on that, in order to preserve the integrity of the congress, the onsite meeting would be fully face-to-face. Keeping true to this principle has required some adjustments to the programme over the last weeks as circumstances change in some speakers’ countries. But thanks to the many, many speakers who remain determined to come, the programme will be excellent. If you can make it to Lisbon, and haven’t yet registered, I would warmly encourage you to come.
If you can’t make it in person, there is still the online platform. The rationale behind the ‘hybrid’ model is to provide as many routes to the congress as possible, and online registration will be open right up till the last day of the congress (5 October). If the congress days are difficult for you, remember too that all online content will be freely available on demand to congress participants until 13 January 2022.
For those who will be joining us in person, I can assure you that ECNP is taking a hyper-vigilant approach to participant safety. To ensure the meeting is as safe as possible, a variety of measures will be in place, including distancing, face masks, onsite access to testing facilities, and the checking of vaccination certificates or PCR tests on entry. We do acknowledge that, whereas these measures may be highly appreciated by some, others may find them overly cautious. Our feeling, however, is that, even though all our participants will very likely be fully vaccinated, we have a special duty as one of the first major international meetings in 2021 to be as careful as we can.
Corona has disrupted the field, as it has so much else, in many ways. I very much hope that the 34th ECNP Congress will mark a major step back to normality. Whether it’s in Lisbon or online, I very much look forward to welcoming you!
Gitte Moos Knudsen