Dear Colleagues,Like every other organization—business, government, and academia—we are monitoring news of the Coronavirus spread with concern. In particular, we are trying to assess how this might affect our planned conference for June. Part of the problem, of course, is that no one knows how bad the disease itself will be or what various governments will do to contain it. The rest of the problem is that we don’t know how fears about the disease (or merely risk avoidance) will affect people’s behavior, including committing to travel over the coming months.For the moment, we are taking a “wait and see” approach, and will be continually reassessing over the coming weeks. While the MSA cannot make up for any financial losses you might incur if we are forced to cancel, we can assure you we will refund all registration fees, even though doing so will generate transaction costs for the association. For the moment, if you have not yet registered for the conference, please DO NOT do so until we reach a final decision (if we persist, we will adjust the deadlines accordingly). And please certainly wait before booking non-refundable travel (even many travel insurance plans have a pandemic exclusion, so please read the fine print).
In the meantime, we will keep you posted on our decision making, and appreciate your understanding that we are all in uncharted territory. Please take care, and we send you all good wishes for a healthy and worry-free spring.
Aline Sierp, Jenny Wüstenberg and Jeff Olick
Jonathan Bach and Siobhan Kattago
Stef Craps, Francisco Ferrandiz, Alicia Salomone, Tea Andersen, Hanna Teichler and Joanna Wawrzyniak