It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you that the upcoming CMESG meeting, scheduled to be held at the University of Ottawa (June 5-9), is being cancelled. I want you to know that the CMESG Executive has taken their time making this decision and has done so with all the current information available to us, including the over 100 responses we received to our survey. Our decision to cancel the conference ultimately came down to three things:
- An abundance of caution and concern for our members.
- Our societal responsibility to join the fight to halt the spread of COVID-19.
- The reality that you, our members, need timely notice to be able to make changes to flight and accommodation bookings.
I want to take this moment to thank the hard work of the local organizers – Ann Arden, Jimmy Pai, and Chris Suurtamm. By all indications, CMESG 2020 was shaping up to be a great meeting with a highly engaging social program. I also want to thank all the presenters and working group leaders who agreed to give their time to help make a stimulating scientific program. We look forward to coming back to Ottawa sometime soon. In the meantime, the 2021 CMESG meeting will be held at the University of Regina (May 21-25, 2021) as planned and we look forward to what that program and venue have to offer.
I want to remind all of you that CMESG is more than a meeting. We are an organization – and you are our members. Although the 2020 meeting is being cancelled, the work of the organization and the CMESG executive will continue in the interim. We will still hold elections (coming soon) and we will still hold a virtual 2020 AGM (to be announced). And we need you to continue with your membership. Your current membership will run out in June 2020. To renew your membership until June 2021, follow the link below. As a reminder, membership in CMESG comes with a subscription to For the Learning of Mathematics, which is continuing production during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Link to the membership form: https://forms.gle/wiu4WfBYpbqjVfv78
As mentioned, the CMESG 2020 survey received over 100 responses. Thank you. Your comments regarding the potential cancelation of our 2020 meeting showed kindness, compassion, and understanding. Your comments regarding the potential for some sort of virtual conference were varied but centered around the idea that it would be difficult to use digital media to recreate the synergy and serendipity that is the lifeblood of a CMESG meeting. We agree. As such, we have chosen not to try to provide a virtual meeting. However, we are working on creating something that will allow us to stay connected during the extended time that we will be apart. Stay tuned for more details about this.
For those of you who booked accommodations through the University of Ottawa Accommodations Service, you will be contacted soon with instructions for cancelling bookings and receiving refunds.
Peter Liljedahl, CMESG President
(on behalf of the CMESG executive)